Smartphone sales will reach one billion units by 2016, with low-cost devices accounting for a third of the market, new figures claim.
According to research by analyst firm Juniper, a reduction in smartphone prices over the next five years will result in an upsurge of consumers choosing to purchase smartphones in place of basic handsets.
Juniper smartphones report author Daniel Ashdowns said: ‘In developed markets, many consumers will want to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone, but still pay a feature phone price. In emerging markets though, lower average consumer spending power and lack of operator subsidies will make a low price point essential.’
Meanwhile, Juniper also sees the market for standard smartphones ($150-$399) and higher-end smartphones ($400 and above) remaining robust.
The firm said that sales of high-cost smartphones will be powered by competition among manufacturers driving prices down and the adoption of 3D technology, as well as new technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC).