The global aftermarket of accessories and services for mobiles phones has experienced consistent growth, with the smartphone category setting new market upside targets. The other related sector to watch will be media tablet accessories.
According to the latest marekt study by ABI Research, smartphones will drive $20 billion in aftermarket accessory revenues in 2012 -- accounting for more than half of the $36 billion that all aftermarket mobile handset accessories will produce.
By 2017, smartphone accessories will grow to $38 billion in revenues, while feature phone accessory revenues decline to $12 billion.
"The increasing penetration of smartphones is driving a shift in accessory design toward smart accessories that drive higher levels of consumer interaction, product value, and brand recognition," says Michael Morgan, senior analyst, devices, applications and content at ABI Research.
For new market entrants, developing brand recognition is paramount in capturing market share from the incumbents. This is best accomplished by the development of engaging, innovative accessories that extend the value proposition of today's mass market mobile device accessories.
As an example, feature phone consumers will spend an average of $28.17 on accessories per device, while smartphone owners will spend $56.18 on accessories per device.
The difference in spending is driven by a combination of people choosing to spend more per accessory, and purchasing significantly more accessories, for smartphones -- as compared to feature phone owners.
While feature phone accessories tend to be basic commodity-type products, smartphone-focused accessories are increasingly looking to leverage on device applications and communication protocols that can increase the design complexity and allow the accessories to become service delivery platforms.
As smartphones continue to expand the value of mobile handsets, accessories will need to equally deliver higher levels of product engagement, customization, and predict consumer needs or shifting mobile device use cases.