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Global Top-500 Smartphone Models: Tech Spec Trends as of Q1 2017

by Juha Winter | Aug 14, 2017

According to recent SA research, smartphone models belonging to the US$191-299 wholesale price range are the second most important in terms of revenue generated or value share, out of all price bands. The very high end, priced at US$600 and above, is of course the highest revenue source, earning more than a third of global smartphone revenues.

But focusing on the US$191-299 smartphones, what is it that makes them special? Many of them were on the top-10 list of globally best-selling smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, including the Oppo R9s, the Vivo X9, the Apple iPhone SE, and the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016). Besides their belonging to the same wholesale price band, is there something in common between these devices, in terms of their technical specifications?

In recent research published by Strategy Analytics’ Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) service, we list 12 key technical specifications for the top-500 globally best-selling smartphone models, together with their shipments, wholesale ASP, and price band. What we found out, among many other interesting facts, is that considering the top-500 models, the median screen size in the US$191-299 price band is 5.5 inches, equaling that of the iPhone 6/6s/7 Plus. What’s more, the median pixel density of those screens exceeds 400 ppi, well above the threshold for “retina” like density. Not bad at all for such affordable smartphones. Of course, there are stand-out exceptions, such as the iPhone SE with its 4.0 inch screen and 326 ppi density.

The overall trend is, however, towards large (5.5-6.2 inch) screens and thinner bezels, because the physical dimensions of a smartphone can barely grow anymore without sacrificing pocketability. And, as we’ve shown, large, high-pixel-density screens are no longer exclusive to the higher price tiers but are indeed also available with a much more affordable price tag.

Interested in the technical specifications of the world’s most popular smartphones, in addition to shipments, wholesale ASP, and price band? Clients of our SMT service can view the report here.

Oppo R9s

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