Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Smartphone Growth Drives Accessory Use

Mobile phones are big business. In fact, so are the accessories. Sales of mobile phone accessories are expected to generate over $40 billion in revenue in 2008.

Handset vendors and mobile operators know that to increase sales of their feature-rich handsets, they also need to provide accessories that will allow users to fully enjoy and benefit from the applications and features supported by the handsets. This means providing accessories such as headsets, memory cards, and data connection kits, in addition to chargers and batteries.

"Current market trends including the growing adoption of smartphones in the prosumer and consumer segments, as well as the increasing popularity of iPhone-like feature-rich devices with touch-screens are contributing to the growing demand for mobile phone accessories," says ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey.

Further, more people buying expensive smartphones and feature-rich devices mean greater demand for accessories that protect handsets, and also for accessories that enable the use of different features and applications on the handsets.

The growing popularity of mobile phones with large screens and touch-screens is resulting in strong sales of accessory products that offer handset protection, such as carry cases, covers, screen protectors, and scratch removers.

Audio-video playback capabilities in handsets are resulting in growing demand for earphones and headsets, as well as memory cards to enable storage of music, videos and images. Also, the need for connecting the mobile phone to the PC/laptop for transferring multimedia and data files means a greater need for accessory products such as data connection kits and USB chargers.

ABI Research expects the market for mobile phone accessories to grow steadily in the next five years, generating over $80 billion in revenue in 2012. The firm's recent market study examines the market landscape and future potential for mobile phone accessory products.