A new report by Juniper Research has found that 3D functionality and other technology innovations, such as the introduction of dual core processors, will drive the high end smartphone market over the next five years.
Features associated with today’s smartphones, meanwhile, such as app store connectivity and touchscreens, will be present in over 80% of handsets shipped in the US by 2015. Western Europe and Far East & China are also demonstrating significant take up.
“The handset market will become increasingly polarised,” said Anthony Cox, senior analyst at Juniper. “Handsets with smartphone functionality will account for the lion’s share of shipments in developed markets, while less developed economies will see a ready market for low cost handsets.”
However, several less developed markets, such as parts of Latin America and Africa, will all but miss out on the smartphone revolution. Meanwhile the global mid-tier market, characterised by feature phones and standard handsets, will continue to contract.
Further findings from the Next Generation Smartphones report include: The take up of video calling using the mobile device will be limited even with the launch of Facetime by Apple; Competition will drive smartphone pricing down, though this may be mitigated against by the launch of handsets with new functionality; The combination of the smartphone and the app store will result in substantial increases in data usage over the smartphone device.
The report finds that Apple’s operating system has revolutionised the market, leaving several well known players in its wake. The challenge for the likes of Nokia, Research in Motion and Microsoft is not only to bring new operating systems to the table as quickly as possible, but also to make sure that developers create apps for them when there are two successful stores out there already.