Smartphone sales are on the increase, with recent statistics by Gartner showing that smartphones occupied 55% of mobile phones sold in the third Quarter of 2013 (July, August and September of 2013).
Smartphones have dominated the world, sure, and it’s Google’s Android who lead the market by racking up a 81.9% lion share, followed by Apple’s iOS who claimed 12.1%,. Then there’s Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, Nokia’s Bada OS and Symbian who have 3.6, 1.8, 0.3 and 0.2 percentages to their respective names.
In the North America, Western Europe and other developed economies, iPhones and Samsung Galaxys have become the norm. Smartphones now account for more than 80% of mobile phones in such economies. Coming to second tier economies like in Asia and Middle East, mid-range Android phones have taken over in general. Indian and Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) saturate the market with high-end (spec-wise) phones at dirt-cheap pricing.
A typical example of the Asian market is Xiaomi’s Red Rice, a quad-core MTK MT6589T processor-powered phone. With a 4.7″ 480p touchscreen, the Red Rice is aggressively retailed at $130, which makes much sense when Xiaomi announced they sold 100,00o units of the Red Rice in it’s first 4 minutes of launch.
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Now coming to Africa, Nokia is king. Read carefully to understand what I mean by “Nokia is king”. Feature phones and utility phones have 82% of the African market as of January 2013. Nokia S40 phones and Nokia Ashas are synonymous with the younger crowd while the older generation prefer to use simple phones like Nokia torchlight phones which the Nokia 105 serves as a typical example.
Fast forward to now (November 2013). Nokia though still king with their torchlight phones and co., is now facing a big challenge from Asian phone makers like Tecno, Infinix and Gionee who flood the market with inexpensive Android smartphones. Take for example, each household in Nigeria now own at least one unit of Tecno or Gionee Android phone. Even though it is dying, Blackberry is not left out. US and UK-used Blackberry phones are still fancied by some of the youth, with the higher class opting for high-end Samsung Galaxys and iPhones — which are seen as luxury for the rich.
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Smartphones are still on the rampage, with South America, where Nokia Lumia phones are making waves not forgotten. Android control the market in Latin America with iOS not doing badly.
So, to answer the big question: There will be a time when smartphones will be in everybody’s pocket, not exactly everybody though, but mostly. Feature phones will get smarter, thus upgraded to smartphones and even utility phones will be able to send e-mails, run apps here and there, play music and videos. and run operating systems that will let you run apps simultaneously.