The next billion mobile phone connections will mostly come from remote rural areas in emerging markets, but smartphones' average selling prices will not come down far enough for this growth to be driven by those devices, a new report has claimed.
New research by Ovum said device charging solutions will be a critical factor for the next billion connections in buying a device. The report predicted the growth will come from areas in remote and rural areas that have poor access to electricity.
Telecoms analyst Shiv Putcha said while remote rural areas typically do not have access to basic infrastructure or facilities, its inhabitants are aware of the transformative potential of mobile devices. He said: 'Emerging markets will account for the bulk of the next billion connections, and despite increasing awareness of smartphones, these users will primarily purchase entry-level and feature phones.
'Users from the next billion have a distinct hierarchy of expectations from their devices including durability, problem-solving features, versatility and connectivity. However, while connectivity is highly desirable, it is generally unaffordable, challenging to use and impractical for most users in rural and remote communities.'