Juniper Research estimates that the number of smartphone shipments will approach 1.2 billion this year, an increase of 19% from 985 million in 2013. This growth is largely driven by growth of smartphones that sell for less than $150 (Economy) as well as less than $75 (Ultra-Economy).
While Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the Ultra-Premium end of the market, these vendors are facing significant pressure from local players in the emerging markets. For example, Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone vendor, is witnessing tremendous success in China and India as a result of its aggressive price-point offerings. Even Microsoft is planning a sub-$40 Windows Phone handset.
Additionally, Google is partnering with local vendors for its Google-One initiative to provide a unified feature set tailor-made for the low-cost smartphone market.
Despite these initiatives by Google and Microsoft, Apple and Samsung will still account for nearly 45% of the global smartphones shipped this year. Still, Juniper Research’s report notes that the average selling price of a smartphone will decline globally to reach $274 by 2019, so this could soon change.
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