We’re seeing more and more smartphones made in China for the Chinese market, as well as the Indian market. One thing that they use over there are dual-SIM slots. Because those markets are much more cost-conscious than the US or European market, they are much more likely to have two (or even three) SIM-cards in their phones, to profit from the cheapest possible data- and call-rates, or even to enhance reception by use of multiple operators. It’s an absolute killer feature over there. Due to massive roaming costs in Europe, there’s also a host of new devices with two SIM-cards available on that market, allowing traveling people to be reachable through their usual number while being able to stay connected with cheap rates in the country they’re currently in, and I’ve even used a US-SIM in my phone besides my normal one on holiday myself.
Despite all this movements, it’s still astonishing to hear that according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, every third phone to be sold in 2016 is expected to be a Dual-SIM device. The total market accounts for an estimated 1.6 billion smartphones to be sold next year, resulting in a whopping 514 million devices that can tackle (at least) two SIMs simultaneously. Compared to last year, the growth of this market share is calculated at 19%, which means that already this year the mind-blowing number of 431 million units will be sold this year.
Accordingly, this will also be the first time that this type of phones will hit the half-billion mark, pointing out another very interesting detail: Apple is still prominently absent from this market, thereby missing a really huge opportunity. Meanwhile most other big brands like HTC, LG and Samsung have jumped the train with the last one or two device-generations, offering at least Dual-SIM variants of their flagships, broadening the potential market by the aforementioned third of the current size, or even half the market size, calculated from the lower end up.
With the sheer size of the potential market in Asia and India, it will be interesting to see if Apple will respond to this serious demand of Dual-SIM capability and launch a corresponding device within reasonable time or if they stay in their traditional market.