The smartphone segment is becoming central to the development of the global mobile industry. With mobile subscriptions’ penetration of the population having already surpassed 100% in most developed markets and quickly approaching that mark on a global level, a sign of near market saturation, industry players are focusing on mobile data as the main revenue growth source for the future. In addition to network and service investments being made to pursue this opportunity, data services need user-friendly terminals and interfaces to engage customers.
Smartphones are just such devices. Following a sluggish start when mainly targeted at business users, they have witnessed exploding sales in recent years, especially since the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007. The iPhone delivered a landmark consumer-focused user experience and changed the way the industry did business. Further contributing to the smartphone segment’s sky-rocketing growth, the launch of Google’s Android open source operating system in 2008 enabled smartphones to reach the mass market, with more handset makers being able to enter the segment with a similar user experience to that of the iPhone and at quickly decreasing price points.
The growing importance of the segment has brought operating systems (OS) and the ecosystems being created around them to the forefront, sparking a war among different platforms for dominance over the smartphone space. Mobile operating systems and the ecosystems evolving around them are shaping the way forward for the mobile industry because of their potential to attract users and drive new business opportunities in data services. In light of this it is crucial to understand which players are involved and how, comprehend how these ecosystems are evolving, and fully apprehend the influence they have in the present and future of the handset and mobile services industry.
In this report, Pyramid Research analyzes the current state of the smartphone market segment, focusing specifically on the developments taking place in the OS arena.
Following a period of decreasing handset sales in 2008-2009, the global handset industry is growing once again, propelled by the accelerating smartphone segment and by strong emerging markets demand. Pyramid Research expects global handset sales to expand at a 7% CAGR between 2010 and 2015, moving from 1.33bn to 1.86bn devices.
The stunning expansion of the smartphone segment has been driven by increasing popularity of these devices in consumer segments. This was first caused by the arrival of the iPhone and further boosted by Android-powered devices, which enabled smartphones to be offered at lower price points and is making smartphones the mass market device of choice. We expect these devices to continuing coming down the price ladder, becoming increasingly available to lower-income tiers and emerging markets, which will boost sales.
The OS is one of the most important differentiating factors within the smartphone segment, given its central role in the handset usability experience. A renewed OS approach to handset usability gave new mobile handset entrant Apple an edge over its competitors. The importance of the OS has also enabled software companies to take a prominent role in an industry so far dominated by handset vendors.
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Key Questions Answered
Who are the key players in the smartphone OS space?
How much influence do mobile operators and handset vendors have in the value chain?
What do the value chains look like and which elements are best positioned?
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Service providers: The report is targeted at a range of industry participants requiring an overview of the market and an analysis of the different players, and a particular need to understand how operators are positioning themselves, including:
Operating system developers;
Companies mentioned in this report:
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Smartphone Operating Systems: Ecosystem analysis and trends shaping the future of the global smartphone market is part of Pyramid’s research report series. A blend of primary research and qualitative analysis, Pyramid’s research reports offer comprehensive coverage of the fixed and mobile communications space and enable those in the communications industry to stay ahead of changing market dynamics. For more information about this report, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org telephone at + 1 ( 617) 747-4100