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Exploring Smartphone Market Segmentation Realities

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, the smartphone operating system (OS) market will see new emerging players in the coming years gain ground -- such as Asha, Sailfish and HTML 5 based OS players.

In the near term, the global market is expected to be dominated by Android and iOS.

Juniper argues that these new OS contenders will built upon important market niches -- focusing on cost innovation and utilizing local knowledge -- in synergy with the next generation of consumers that seek mobile internet access.

Over time, this focus on creating smartphone offerings for targeted market segments may begin the slow decline of the current global OS leaders.

The Global Smartphone Duopoly

In terms of smartphone shipments, Apple and Samsung will continue to dominate the global market, shipping 17 percent more smartphones in 2018 than were shipped globally by all vendors in 2012.


The Juniper Research study found that Apple and Samsung global smartphone shipments will reach nearly 800 million by the end of 2018, that's compared with 677 million in 2012.

Apple Discovers Market Segmentation

Juniper forecasts sustained growth for Apple in the emerging markets over the forecast period, with Apple expected to announce a diversification in its product portfolio shortly. Meaning, an acknowledgment that lower-cost iOS-based devices are required.

They note that this market segmentation enlightenment will bring Apple closer to the successful Samsung model of catering to diverse set of markets utilizing different models which will maintain the current global dichotomy.

Why One Model Doesn't Fit All Markets

The study findings also uncovered that significant growth is expected across emerging markets -- such as the Indian Subcontinent and China. These areas will see particular growth in the Ultra-Economy and Economy sectors, with custom localized low-cost handsets.

However, slower growth is forecast for the Ultra-Premium and Premium smartphone sectors, but only if they can offer clear differentiation within a crowded high-end device market.

Other key market study findings include:
  • There will continue to be a lack of short and medium term diversity within the OS market.
  • The Average Selling Price of a smartphone will fall as new lower income demographics are exploited across the globe.

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