Research and analytics firm IDC
says that smart device shipments will reach a staggering 1.7 billion units in 2014. Of these, around 1 billion will be purchases in emerging markets including China, India, Brazil and Russia. The 'big four' will collectively see over 662 million smart devices sold with a market value of $206 billion. This will, for the first time, outstrip the developed markets of the US, UK and Japan, which will ship over 400 million smart devices for a combined market value of $204 billion.
"Smartphone and tablet prices are now less prohibitive to first-time buyers in emerging markets," says Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, clients and displays at IDC. "Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a mouthwatering prospect, the low selling price also means that vendors will face huge struggles to meet the demands profitably," O'Donnell cautioned. "Given the competitive price points for cheaper smartphones and tablets, this price war is a race to the bottom and it's not at all clear that this low-end market offers sustainable profits to smartphone and tablet vendors."
The emerging demand for smart devices in developed countries has not escaped the attention of the bigger players in the industry. Nokia and Microsoft have for some time been working to drive down the prices
of Windows Phone devices in an effort to attract first-time smartphone owners to gain market share. While Google's Android OS is expected to dominate in this segment, Apple has also shifted its approach to the smartphone segment, extending the life of superseded models and pushing them in emerging markets. It is also rumored to be working on a low-cost iPhone
made from plastic that will also help to make iOS more affordable and attractive option in developing markets. [via Digitimes