Smartphones: There’s Plenty of Space Outside the Galaxy for the Next Billion (and a bit)

POSTED BY Global Administrator
Sometime early next year, a Galaxy not so far, far away may be sold which could well be the billionth smartphone currently in-use. I say, could well be, because Samsung is currently selling a lot of its smartphone range. In fact, according to Juniper’s estimates, the company shipped 46.9 million in the first quarter alone (one-third of all smartphones worldwide). Not all will be Android-based Galaxy devices, but the majority will be. The flagship Galaxy S series (1 & 2) have sold by the bucket-full (~30 million combined as of October 2011), and the super-size Galaxy Note which confounded so many journalists classification-wise has been a hit too (~5 million as of March 2012). While Apple has stuck to its guns with premium smartphone after premium smartphone, Samsung is building quite a portfolio of products. Other stars in the Galaxy range may not shine as brightly – lacking super-size displays and multi-core processors – but Samsung is clearly selling a lot of them as well. Since it launched the Galaxy S in March 2010, the Korean giant has shipped well over 150 million smartphones – even if we assume the Galaxy S1 and S2 have continued to sell strongly, that’s a lot in the ‘other’ column. What this illustrates is the huge market for mid-tier and low-tier smartphones: and it’s going to get bigger; a lot bigger. Penetration rates in the BRIC countries, for example, are currently in the ‘teens’ or lower, and we have forecast these rates to skyrocket over the next five years. When the smartphone market reaches two billion in-use some time in 2017, around 4 billion more smartphones will have been shipped, and try as it might, Samsung, or even Samsung and Apple combined won’t be able to cater for this level of demand. We attended Intel’s EMEA Analyst Summit this week, and the traditionally-PC silicon giant is sensibly targeting the low-end of the smartphone market, where local brands are under-cutting global players with ‘cheap-and-cheerful’ smartphone alternatives. While the headlines are going to Apple and Samsung currently, we shouldn’t forget: it’s a big galaxy out there! Bigger even than Samsung’s… Juniper's report Smartphone Evolution Strategies: Premium, Standard and Economy Markets 2011-2016, forecasting the smartphone market by three discrete price bands is available here...