Ultra-low cost smartphones set to shake-up market

Smartphone Shipments

New research from analysts at Juniper Research reveals that a new ultra-low cost generation of smartphones is emerging, capturing large volumes of the emerging markets.

Juniper forecasts almost 200m in shipments by 2018, compared to nearly 10 m in 2014. On a global scale, this means that the ultra-premium end of the smartphone market is set to diminish proportionally by volume over time, not due to a drop in sales but a faster level of growth at other price points.

The report, Smartphone Futures: Differentiation Strategies & Emerging Opportunities, 2013-2018, argues this new generation of devices will permanently change the market, splitting the global market in two, with the developed high margin, low volume markets on one side and low margin, high volume markets on the other.

Crowding at the top

The ultra-premium smartphone market is currently dominated by Apple and Samsung with contenders such as HTC struggling to find a consistent foothold, it says. However, due to fierce competition in the middle part of the smartphone market, this could be about to change as these players begin to face competition from emerging markets as players such as Xiaomi and Oppo search for higher margins.

These new players are utilising different tactics, explains the firm. Xiaomi are taking a holistic approach to the consumer and planning to offer additional services to the user, thus subsidising their high performance devices.

Juniper also feels this extra competition at the top end of the market will mean faster the rate of innovation.


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