Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "2012 Wireless Semiconductors" by Databeans, Inc..
At one time the term "recession-proof" in the electronics industry was only applicable to steady earning markets, such as industrial equipment or medical devices; application markets that managed to defy the major swings that most other, more consumer oriented markets seemed to go through every couple of years. However, one consumer category, the smartphone, might need to be added to this list soon enough. Over the past two years smartphone sales have managed maintain average growth in the high teens or low twenties at a time when most other consumer markets have seen demand drop off due to poor consumer confidence and cutbacks in discretionary spending. In fact, Databeans believes that barring any setbacks, the smartphone industry can maintain these healthy growth rates over the next few years they will breach $58 billion in worldwide wireless revenue by the year 2017.
Meanwhile, on the OEM front, the smartphone market is increasingly becoming a two horse race between global leader Samsung and runner-up Apple, which combined own almost half of the global market share as of the third quarter of 2012. Samsung, which has seen its OEM market share skyrocket over the past year and now owns almost one third of the industry by itself, had a leg up over the competition when it released its latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy S3 at the end of May. The devices popularity is already surprising many analysts, as Samsung has reported that as of September 20 million Galaxy S3s have been sold since its initial release date.
However, Apple, not one to rest on its laurels, introduced the latest iPhone 5in September, which should prove to be a major market force just like the previous iPhone models. In fact, Apple took in took more than 2 million pre-orders during the first 24 hours it was available and shattering the previous record of 1 million pre-sales taken by the iPhone 4S last year. As a result of these numbers, many industry experts believe that the iPhone 5, with its larger screen size, thinner product design, and 4G LTE capabilities, is set to become the greatest selling smartphone of all time.
Still, there are a bevy of feisty underdogs that are fighting at any chance to steal market share away from either Samsung or Apple and are competing on the basis of price or performance, or sometimes both. Motorola, for example, has revitalized its once popular Razr line with the new Droid Razr Max HD, which offers an extra-large screen and 32-hour battery life. Meanwhile, Nokia, which has seen its smartphone OEM share tumble over the past year, will introduce two new ultra low-priced touchscreen smartphones in the fourth quarter. The upcoming Asha 308 and Asha 309, which are based on Symbian operating system, will cost just $99 dollars. Nokia hopes the low cost of the phones will help it capture significant share in under penetrated markets with great potential, such as India or South America.
Finally, certain other players are hoping to rejoin the race after re-evaluating the markets prospects. For example, Hewlett-Packards CEO Meg Whitman stated in September that the company was in the process of developing a new, redesigned smartphone device and was seeking to re-enter the market after abandoning its Palm line of phones and its webOS mobile operating system last year. Whitman went on to say that HP could no longer afford to not be a player in the smartphone industry, as in many countries consumers cant afford a dedicated computer, thus the smartphone has become their primary computing device.With so much revenue made and so much potential remaining in this market its easy to see why many companies are eager to get their own slice of the smartphone pie. And at a time when it seems like everything else is slowing down, the smartphone industry continues to prove time and again that it is only just getting started.