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High-End Smartphone Market Saturated? Will LTE-Advanced Change the Trend?

by Woody Oh | 7月 18, 2013

A lot of financial analysts and research companies are predicting that the market size for high-end smartphones will soon see the saturation as they are expecting strong demand for low-cost smartphone in emerging countries including BRICs and other developing countries worldwide. The report published by our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, available to our clients, forecasts how both low-end and high-end smartphone market will play out for the following years through 2017.

On top of the growing low-end smartphone market to be expected over the coming years, it is obvious that there is limited room for growth in high end smartphone segment due to a lof of factors such as traditional cyclical nature in handset industry, intensified compeition among Apple, Samsung and the chasing group, higher smartphone penetration in developed markets, flattening innovation in H/W & S/W and operators' reluctance to pay more subsidy for subscribers who want to upgrade to high-tier phones.

As a lot of players are vying for more profits in this saturated market with their flagship products with the same look and similar qualities, it would be essential to introduce something different from others, such as LTE-A, flexible display, wearable devices and others. LTE-A technology is nascent now, but it may shed some light on this smartphone community regarding what differentiators players should develop to attract consumers and grow the market as more and more LTE-A networks will be deployed by several leading mobile operators such as AT&T, Verizon, NTT Docomo, SKT and others worldwide, targeted for end of 2013 or early 2014.

In our view, smartphone vendors must work harder to differentiate in 2014 to generate more revenues and higher profits in this segmented smartphone industry.

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