Global Smartphone Forecast!

22 12 2009

The Smartphone wave will continue to dominate the next few years, predominantly in emerging markets, says Pyramid Research, in its latest report on ‘Global Smartphone Forecast’. While it focuses on operator and vendor strategies, along with cutthroat competition among various mobile OS platforms, there are little surprises in the report. The report also investigate the detail state of Smartphone market in eight crucial market, namely China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, US, UK & Nigeria etc.

Some of the highlights of the reports are:

China will become the biggest Smartphone market overtaking US in 2010, while other markets like Brazil, India, and Nigeria will record compound annual growth rates above 30%, through 2014.
• There lies huge opportunity in Smartphone segment, with unit sale may cross figure of 1.8Bn by end of 2014.
• As operators’ strategies vary across countries, so too do the market shares of operating systems. Because of local conditions, the BlackBerry has a strong market position in India, while Linux-based systems do much better in China.
• Operator’s strategies differ a lot based on method of payment; postpaid and prepaid. In dominantly postpaid markets, where there’s no dearth of subsidies which produces high competition among operators, vendors like AT & T are offering subsidies on handsets along with attractive data plans to woo customers.
• While in predominantly prepaid markets, such as Russia, operators like MTS are focusing more on value added services (VAS), by offering cost proposition over the content offered. It would be really interesting to see how Indian market players will come up with innovative VAS, to improve Smartphone penetration , which is dominated by prepaid category of subscribers.

You will find some other interesting questions answered in report like, how Smartphone market adaptation will unfold in next five years? What are the vendor strategies which will pay the returns? How Smartphone market will look like in 2014? Etc. As Nokia continued to show disappointing results in Smartphone segment, while Apple became the most profitable handset maker recently, the Smartphone segment shows interesting trends. Though handset market shows sign of recovery, there’s a lot to be unfolded in coming years. Market is still open for top spot!

Telecom Differentiation & Smart-Phones War!

16 06 2009

In today’s Times of India, I got to see one aspect of differentiation by leading telecom operator, Aircel in Delhi-NCR. Through this blog I often insisted that differentiating your services from other service providers is the key & a real challenge too. Talking about innovation is one thing, implementing it is another.
             Aircel’s recent data recharge plans are something different on offer.  There is hardly any differentiation among all players in terms of Voice/SMS tariff plans. Only room is to grow horizontal; in data space. That’s exactly what Aircel has tried to do by introduction of the data recharge vouchers. We will be waiting for further details on this, but as mentioned earlier too Aircel is betting on Data to garner more revenues (Repetition of Malaysian strategy). Its advertisements also stress the same fact. Data is future of revenues; voice has limitations.
             Recent launch of Apple’s latest Smart Phone iPhone 3GS has certainly brought new dimensions into mobile devices market; especially in fuelling the Smart Phone price war. The move was initiated to offset the impact of Plam Pre ($200) which is considered by many as iPhone killer.  I often wondered how innovation creates new room for non-existing demands in market. You are just exploring new aspects which weren’t thought earlier. This is a gimmick to create demand before the need arises or before earlier product life cycle dies. Though iPhone may have advantage over Plam in terms of number of portable applications available to use; Palm Pre is considered a better choice as far as device features are considered. On the other hand Nokia’s N97 which is launched without any tie-ups with any US carrier has to rely on its laurels to garner sell.
            Surprisingly, one aspect which I would like to mention about Smart Phones is that they drive data revenues to higher end. May be that was the reason, few Indian Operators hurriedly tied up with Apple iPhone. But as of now we have less than 5K iPhone users in India. So if we are looking at Data or 3G seriously, then increasing Smart Phone users & their data usage is must. Only concern is how we bring differentiation in it.

            To our knowledgeable readers, I would like to add few more details on recent war of smart phones in US market. It has been exceedingly difficult for device players to create room for new launches, this despite the fact that such room exists in some or other form. Those of you, who are looking for some real gadget comparisons, do check the below link; it actually evaluates Smart Phones on equal basis.