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Global Top-500 Smartphone Models: Tech Spec Trends in 1H’17

by Juha Winter | Oct 27, 2017

According to recent SA research published by our Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) service, smartphone models belonging to the US$100-190 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 40 percent of global smartphone revenues.

But focusing on the US$100-190 smartphones, what is it that makes them special? While just one of them was on the top-10 list of globally best-selling smartphones in the first and second quarters of 2017, namely the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), this price tier dominates the ranks from #10 to #50. These are the high-volume, lower-mid-tier smartphones, shipping above 1.5 to 2m units per model, depending on the quarter. 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 by the SMT service, we list 15 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$100-190 price band is 5.2 inches, above that of the iPhone 6/6s/7/8. 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.

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.

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