Today in New Delhi, Nokia announced the launch of the 501, the newest smartphone in its line of Asha handsets. The phone boasts a touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel camera, wifi and bluetooth capability, a weight of under 100 grams, and a price of under $100. The 501 runs on Nokia’s new Asha platform and comes with the company’s Xpress Browser pre-loaded. The browser helps compress Internet data by up to 90%, which will be quite popular in emerging markets, where consumers are often much more wary of the amount of data they are consuming on their mobile phones.
In China, consumers can now purchase a fully-functionable mobile phone for only $12. The $12 mobile phone features an OLED display, backlit keypad, MP3 playback, and even a bluetooth antenna. Along with the phone comes a protective sleeve, charge, and USB cable. The phone itself does not bear any retail logos, but the electronics consist of two pieces of hardware; one built by Chinese microchip manufacturer Vanchip Technologies, and the other by Taiwanese semiconductor company Mediatek. Along with the battery, display, and bluetooth antenna, the device fits into a small transparent green plastic case which snaps together without any screws.
According to a report by research firm IDC, smartphones have officially surpassed feature phones as the most popular type of phone in the world. Of the 418.6 million mobile phones shipped in the first quarter this year, 216.12 million were smartphones. This marks the first time that smartphones accounted for the majority of global mobile phone shipments. Much of the growth in smartphone shipments is due to increased demand in emerging markets. As hundred of millions of feature phone users make the switch to smartphones over the coming years, smartphone sales will grow even faster.
Despite the already strong presence of Samsung, Nokia, and Apple smartphones, two local competitors, Karbonn and Micromax, are quickly gaining ground in the Indian smartphone market. As it currently stands, Samsung is still the market leader, accounting for 43.1% of smartphones sold in 2012. Nokia was a distant second at 13.3%, yet still maintained top position in the overall handset market thanks to its lead in feature phone sales. If current trends continue, however, Samsung’s dominant position is likely to slip.
40 years ago today, Motorola employee Martin Cooper made what is widely regarded as the first ever call on a mobile phone. The device, a Motorola DynaTAC phone, was nine inches tall and had a talk-time of only 35 minutes. 10 years after the first call, the DynaTAC came on the market at a price of around $4,000. 30 years later, you can buy an Android-powered smartphone with over 100 times the functionality at about 1/100th of the price. It is safe to say that mobile phone technology has come a long way.
Given the recent launch of the new line of Nokia phones at Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, we at Jana decided to survey our emerging market research panels in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines to gauge their mobile phone preferences. Below, you can find the data we were able to gather, all in less than 24 hours. Take a look and let us know what you think of the data.
Do you have a question you would like to ask the world? Let us know on Twitter: @Jana and we could use your question for our next survey.
In 2009, the number of mobile users in India was 429.73 million. Latest estimates from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) put this number at 906.62 million. In a little over three years, the number of mobile phone users in India has doubled to reach a figure that is greater than the entire population of the European Union and the United States combined. This mobile subscriber base is not only numerous, it is also highly connected. A steady increase in purchasing-power of the Indian middle class, combined with a decrease in the price of mobile handsets and data rates, has created a perfect storm of sorts for the digital Indian consumer.
Rumors are swirling around the Consumer Electronics Show and beyond that Apple is considering the launch of a new, more affordable model of its iPhone in late 2013. While very few details have emerged, the general consensus is that the new smartphone will be priced somewhere around the $100-150 range without a contract. This reduced cost could place the iPhone firmly in the emerging market smartphone picture.
As it stands, Apple has only a very slight presence in emerging markets. With the new iPhone 5 costing $649 without a contract in the U.S., and often costing even more overseas, the smartphone is seen as a hyper-luxury item, affordable for only a small portion of consumers. On the other hand, Android powered smartphones manufactured by companies like Huawei are available for less than 10% of the price of a new iPhone and have therefore dominated the market. Globally, Android accounted for 68.3% of all smartphones shipped last year, reaching over 70% in many developing nations.
The web is always abuzz with new smartphone sales reports. Samsung trumps Apple worldwide in Q3 2013, Apple regains lead in US market, Android accounts for vast majority of new global smartphone sales, yet one phone always seems to remain absent from any predictions or trends. Over the past few years, RIM’s BlackBerry has plummeted from its once lofty spot as the smartphone of choice for U.S. consumers. The New York Times recently reported that BlackBerrys accounted for only 1.6% of all smartphones sold in Q3 2012. Android and iOS powered phones accounted for 46.7% and 48.1% of sales respectively.
Yesterday, we provided some insight into one of the world’s largest smartphone markets, Brazil. Today, we turn our focus to Internet and smartphones in India. Currently the second most populous nation in the world (just behind China), India has surprisingly low smartphone penetration. Current estimates put the number of Internet-enabled smartphones in India at around 24 million, only 2% of the population.