With the value of the mobile phone market set to plateau in the next couple of years and smartphone pricing set to become polarized, vendors are looking to protect margins through a variety of strategies.


The value of the mobile phone market is set to plateau in 2014 or soon after, prompting OEMs to widen their portfolios beyond mobile phones. Informa Telecoms & Media expects a number of players to create new types of devices to exploit the opportunities presented by the intersection of the mobile phone and tablet markets. Some players will also attempt to reach out directly to users via their own retail channels, to maximize the value of their devices, but only a handful of players will succeed.

Global mobile handset sales are expected to continue to enjoy healthy growth, but not all established players will benefit. In 2016, one in every two handsets sold will be powered by Android. Samsung will continue to lead in sales of Android handsets in the high-end and midrange segments, and a number of microbrands will emerge in the low-cost-smartphone market, which will continue to push the prices of non-smartphones even lower.

According to Informa, in 2013 the smartphone market will start to become polarized in terms of pricing as sales become dominated by two segments: devices selling for less than US$150 and those costing US$250 or more. Competition in the sub-US$150 segment will be stiff and hugely disrupted by low-margin assemblers. Established OEMs, including Nokia, BlackBerry, Sony, LG, HTC and Motorola, will have to choose which camp they want to fight in. Only a few of these companies are likely to be able to continue addressing all smartphone segments.

Technology performance will continue to drive differentiation in the smartphone market, through improvements in processing power, image quality, bandwidth access and storage. Vendors can use all of these elements to help maintain the average selling prices (ASPs) of devices.


We help companies in the handset-and-devices ecosystem to:


  • Understand how handset and device manufacturers are segmenting the market and how this aligns with customers and markets
  • Project ASPs and bill-of-materials (BOM) costs associated with mobile phones across various market segments and technology footprints
  • Estimate the size of different segments of the mobile handset market and patterns in related industries when a new technology has been introduced
  • Review emerging features and functionality, their impact on network traffic and the revenue-generating opportunities they bring
  • See how smartphone sales and usage have an escalating impact on network-capacity requirements
  • Understand how to assist OS operators and handset manufacturers optimize user experience
  • Establish a competitive position via a thorough review of the key value-chain players
  • Align five-year strategy and sales projections with the latest market estimates
  • Keep abreast of competitors and important trends in mobile operating ecosystems
  • Track the growth of handset and device markets globally and identify the countries and regions that offer the most growth potential
  • Understand the challenges that handset manufacturers and operators face and ensure that their businesses are aligned


Recent Research:

  1. Handsets Economics and Segmentation: Sizing opportunities, features’ value and cost of innovation across various market segments
  2. TD-LTE devices: Operators driving new product development and multimode support
  3. Handset-financing programs: Transparency, simplicity, flexibility are keys to success
  4. Exposing the Retail Experience: “Mystery shopper” surveys assess retailers’ approach to recommending and promoting handset models and brands
  5. From consumption to companion device: Prescribing the tablet market
  6. What’s next for the BlackBerry ecosystem? An evaluation of potential business restructuring scenarios
  7. The smartphone conundrum: How to optimize smartphone subsidies to maximize CLTV
  8. Future Mobile Handsets Interactive Forecast Tool, 2011-2017
  9. Handsets Economics Tool, 2011-2017
  10. Global smartphone forecasts, 2010-2017

For more information contact us…


Key services:

Intelligence Centre is the single central source of all of our advisory analysis, primary research, market data and forecasts. The service enables you to quickly locate and share structured research on your business issues and markets. Find out more…


World Cellular Information Service is core to the strategic workflow of many leading players in the mobile space. These organisations use WCIS to track and forecast global mobile subscriptions, KPIs, financial and operational indicators via an intelligent online interface. Find out more…