Carphone Warehouse boss Jeremy Fennell says mid-range handsets are increasingly becoming the choice for consumers buying smartphones for the first time, heightening pressure on the low-end of the market.
In recent years, Samsung, Microsoft and Sony have stopped making handsets within this category starting their range of products in the mid-range, a trend which has being intensified by consumer behaviour.
‘Some of the mid-range products are being where people start now, which means there is further consolidation,’ Fennel told Mobile, ‘there’s not as much diversification, especially at the low end. You see that in the brands that have exited the market. There’s still a business down there. But more people on smartphones have aspirations of moving up the stack.’
Fennell also believes Samsung will have another strong year, despite the Note7 recall: ‘They’ve been given quite a hard time for what’s happened,’ he said ‘but I’m very hopeful that when it’s all been resolved we’ll have good run with them.’
‘Samsung have had a good year in the market, the Galaxy S7 and the S7 edge have been great. The Note has been an unfortunate position that they’ve got themselves in to. But they caught it before they shipped too many here in the UK. So as a result they’ve done a reasonable job, it could have been a lot worse, there could have been a lot more in the market.
‘It’s quite compelling because it’s different to the last version. The previous Note was quite a functional B2B style product that you either loved or hate. Whereas the new one is actually a very nice consumer product, that still has that functionality.’