Smartphones and tablets have been widely adopted in the UK market, and one consequence of this has been the reduction in ownership of more-traditional household gadgets — such as netbook PCs and game consoles.
Between 2012 and 2013, smartphone ownership increased sharply (up 20%), while tablet ownership increased dramatically (up 125%). The only other gadgets to show an increase in ownership were laptops (by 4%) and eReaders (by 31%).
Mobile device technology is evolving rapidly. Enhancements such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, near field communication NFC, and gesture recognition are predicted to be the big winners.
These mobile technologies are projected to make the greatest penetration gains over the coming years, according to ABI Research.
Smartphone demand is booming globally, as new users adopt the mobile internet. The worldwide smartphone market grew by 38.8 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to IDC.
Vendors shipped a total of 258.4 million smartphones in 3Q13, establishing a new record for units shipped in a single quarter by more than 9.0 percent. The previous high was 237 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013.
The global market for smartphones continues to evolve into distinct segments — where the price is a key point of differentiation. The latest worldwide assessment categorizes the smartphone market into five price bands: Ultra-Premium, Premium, Standard, Economy and Ultra-Economy.
The number of smartphone shipments exceeded a quarterly record of 250 million in the third quarter (Q3) of 2013, representing a y-o-y growth of almost 49 percent from Q3 2012, and q-o-q growth of 10 percent.
The European mobile retail audience grew by 43 percent over the past year, with 20 percent of smartphone users accessing online retail sites and apps using their device, according to comScore.
Spain was the fastest growing market with a growth rate of 66.5 percent to almost 3.3 million smartphone users accessing retail sites on their mobile.
The growing penetration of smartphones and tablets, and their user’s increasing dependency upon these devices — which are continually generating data about their location, activities and preferences — means that the mobile device channel has become a highly valuable proposition to all marketers.
Increased utilization of analytics platforms will push global mobile advertising spend beyond $39 billion in 2018 — that’s up from $13 billion this year.
Voice-recognition technology remains of high importance to smartphone vendors and app developers that look to the technology to enable new services and features. From intelligent virtual assistants like Apple Siri, Google Now and Nuance Nina to scores of other apps for Android devices, it’s being leveraged to enhance the user-experience.
Strategy Analytics forecasts voice recognition phone sales will exceed 1 billion units worldwide for the first time ever in 2013.
Adopting tablets and smartphones at a rapid pace, Affluent Americans mobile device ownership has risen from 9% to 41% over the last two years. Of course, the pace of mobile growth among the Affluent isn’t nearly as compelling as how they are using these digital devices.
Nearly half of smartphone owners listened to music, and 29% listened to radio specifically (compared to 26% and 13% respectively, for tablet owners). Reading blogs is equally prevalent on both devices.
Mobile network service providers have a major business model impediment — they’re still subsidizing handsets, but not reaping the return on investment (ROI). The current global market outlook is troubling to analysts.
Moreover, savvy Over-the-Top (OTT) service providers and software application developers continue to take revenue share in the evolving marketplace — often at the expense of the network service providers.