My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Analyst IDC States First Quarter of 2013 Smartphones Shipments finally overtake Feature Phones - Sub-US$200 Iron Man 3 Smartphones for Developed World Markets

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Analyst IDC States First Quarter of 2013 Smartphones Shipments finally overtake Feature Phones - Sub-US$200 Iron Man 3 Smartphones for Developed World Markets



“Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away”

IDC analyst Kevin Restivo as on the statistics published that indicate smartphone shipments for the first time had outpaced Feature phones

Despite the fact that the majority of the US and Developed World market is in love with smartphones as noted in the Nielsen Stats in the article Feature phones are tops in countries where the smartphone networks still need time to expand”, says Nielsen, published February 25, 2013 9:46 AM PST by Lance Whitney, CNET News, the rest of the world is yet to truly fall in love with smartphones, at least not yet.

The numbers posited by analyst IDC tell a rather compelling story that is about to happen in the Second Quarter of 2013 as stated in the article “Smartphones to outsell Feature phones in 2013 for first time”, published March 4, 2013 7:44 AM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News.

They indicate the inevitable has happened: Smartphones have finally overtaken Feature phones globally in terms of units shipped as noted in the article “Smartphones outpace Feature phones for first time ever”, published, April 26, 2013 5:29 AM PDT by Jonathan Skillings, CNET News.
The reason? Cheaper Smartphones, mostly Google Android smartphones and more Developing World Countries planning to or actively deploying 4G Networks.

The Stats tell a better Tale:

1.      418.6 million mobile phones, inclusive of both smartphones and Feature phones were shipped worldwide
2.      216.2 million smartphones were shipped worldwide
3.      202.4 million Feature phones were shipped worldwide

In terms of percentage, the Shipments for the First Quarter of 2013 shell down as thus:

1.      51.6% of the Global mobile phones shipments was smartphones
2.      48.4% of the Global mobile phones shipments was Feature phones

Here are the IDC Stats in pictorial form:

Suddenly my Nokia flashlight phone seems really, really old.

This desire to break into the Developing World Markets that are still dominated by Feature phones is main reason why so many smartphone makers are going Open Source as noted in my blog article entitled “MWC 2013 reveals Firefox OS & Tizen OS launching Second & Third Quarter 2013 respectively - Samsung's Despicable Me 2 & Mozilla practices The ABC's of Death”.

Samsung’s Tizen OS, Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox OS and Canonical’s Ubuntu OS are now on the Radar as we’re now coming up to the end of April, the start of the Second Quarter of 2013. A move up from earlier Fourth Quarter of 2013 Launch projections as noted in my blog article entitled “Samsung's Tizen OS, Mozilla Foundation's Firefox OS and Canonical's Ubuntu OS to launch by Fourth Quarter of 2013 - David Guetta's Titanium Pacific RIM Robots to Battle Google Android”.

So too may be Apple, which at this point no longer has a choice but to actually make a cheaper version of their Apple iPhone to go after the untapped Developing World Markets as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “Apple and the Cloud Phone - Cheaper by the Dozen and Up in the Air” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Towards a cheaper Apple iPhone – Batteries Not Included”.

Analyst ABI Research indicates that the Market for lower cost smartphones, defined as being below US$200, is projected to grow as surmised in “Apple, Samsung's next critical play: Affordable smartphones”, published April 29, 2013 4:00 AM PDT by Shara Tibken, CNET News.

According to ABI Research in 2012:

1.      25% of smartphones cost less than US$200
2.      27% of smartphones cost more than US$400

In 2013, ABI Research projects:

1.      29% of smartphones cost less than US$200
2.      27% of smartphones cost more than US$400

By 2017, ABI Research projects:

1.      42% of smartphones cost less than US$200
2.      23% of smartphones cost more than US$400


Already Telecom Provider Digicel may be ahead of the curve; the DL600 come in at a low US$100 in a bid to hold on to and build its smartphone market as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel to launch the DL600 Smartphone by Mid-May 2013 starting below US$100 - Alcatel One Touch running Firefox OS marketed like The Incredible Burt”.

It may also explain why Telecom Provider Digicel avoided a splashy launch for the Blackberry Z10 as noted in my blog article entitled “Telecom Provider LIME and Digicel to start selling the Blackberry Z10 on Tuesday April 23 2013 - No long lines as the Recession drags us into Oblivion”, despite finally being a true smartphone, as the retail price of, JA$98, 243.75 is priced way beyond the pockets of us mere mortals in Jamaica!

Still their Brand is strong; sources online have informed me that the stores are sold out their original orders less than a week after launch and are restocking. So demand’s for the smartphone is strong, despite its hefty pricetag that’ll leave many with sticker shock.

So in summary, the smartphone makers, to tap into the Developing World Mobile market, where Feature phones are still king representing the 48.6%, need to make more Iron Man 3 (2013) smartphones that are below US$200 in price.
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