As smartphones get cheaper while still offering consumers something special, IT research company Gartner believes that by the end of 2016, 82% of mobile phones will be smartphones.
According to Gartner, the increase of smartphone adoption could be as much as 12% higher than last year. Smartphone shipments are also expected to increase by 2.6%, with shipments set to increase year on year for the foreseeable future.
Despite these shipment projections, consumer spend is only set to increase by 1.2% this year.
The reason for this may be linked to a shift in the mindset of consumers who are switching premium smartphones out for cheaper ones.
“Users are also opting to replace within the basic smartphone category without necessarily moving to high-end smartphones, especially in China and some other emerging markets”, said Gartner Research Director, Roberta Cozza in a statement.
Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, ZTE and Huawei are well known for offering well priced smartphones that offer similar functionality to phones produced by firms like Apple and Samsung.
As Gartner points out, people seem to be cottoning on to the fact that while a premium smartphone does have some nifty features, more and more of these features are making there way into cheaper smartphones as technology advances.
With this there is the risk of the market being flooded with cheap smartphones.
According to Cozza, manufacturers will need to find ways to set themselves apart from the crowd by offering unique experiences, functionality and system ecosystems to win buyers over.[Source – Gartner] [Image CC by 2.0 – uditha wickramanayaka]