Consumer electronics firms entering the smartphone market will account for sales of over 26 million units a year by 2015, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
The analyst firm said in its latest smartphones report that it expects Asian smartphone firms to increase their market share from 11 per cent to 18 per cent by 2015.
Anthony Cox, a senior analyst at Juniper Research and author of the report, explained that the commoditisation of operating systems offers a growing opportunity for new companies to enter the market.
“Firms like Huawei, Acer, Toshiba and Dell are all actively looking at the smartphone market, as platforms like Android have made it much simpler for them to make their products mobile by removing the need to develop their own systems, ” he said.
“With the internet becoming mobile and margins much higher in the smartphone market than the PC market at the moment, firms will be keen to try and get into this space, which will cause the market to become saturated.”
Cox also believes that Nokia’s MeeGo platform could perform a similar role by giving new market entrants the ability to add mobile functionality to their products.
Smartphone prices will fall and filter into the mid-market, according to the analyst, which will see the feature phone market eventually disappear, although additional functionality will keep new device prices high.
“If you can create new capabilities you can always charge a higher amount for your devices. Technologies like 3D eventually come to the fore on mobile phones, and there is a lot of R&D being done on this at present. Firms like Samsung are very interested in developing this for their products,” he said.
“Similarly, dual-core processing could become a key component of devices in order to improve speed and help save on battery life.”
Cox does not expect the rising number of phones to affect mobile networks, as operators will develop technologies such as LTE or bring in tiered pricing for heavier bandwidth users.
Juniper is also predicting a huge leap in mobile applications. Earlier this week, the analyst released a report indicating that the number of handset downloads will jump from under 2.6 billion in 2009 to more than 25 billion in 2015.