A research firm, Informa Telecoms and Media, said that smartphones are projected to increase in sales in the next five years. Smartphone users generate about 13% of all mobile subscribers worldwide but research says this will drastically change within 5 years.
The research team estimated that ATPU per smartphone now averages 85MB a month. The largest traffic generating device is the Apple iPhone which is followed by the Android phones. It is believed by Informa Telecoms & Media that Android units will be patronized not just by hich profile users but will be marketed to mid and low user segments.
In the US about 86% of the mobile phone users are notably using either an iPhone or a high-end Android phone. Malik Kamal-Saadi, a principal analyst at Informa Telecome and Media said that “The traffic disparity between smartphone and non-smartphone is most pronounced in North America where 86% of mobile data traffic is currently generated by smartphone users, notably those using an iPhone or high-end Android devices.” The forecasted ATPU in this region is projected to be 776MB per month by the year 2015.
Aside from the US, Western Europe is also projected to rapidly grow in their usage of smartphones to atleast 17 times by 2015 which is translated to 736MB. The growth is said to be caused by the fast migration of users to high speed mobile networks and also the flat rate plans in data usage. Because of both these reasons, the market of smartphones will be appealing not just to the high end users but to mid and low end users as well.
Believe it or not, it is not the US or Europe which is projected to have the highest number of ATPU but Korea and Japan. They are said to average 271MB a month and 199MB a month respectively not in 2015 but by the end of 2010. This data usage is already about 2 or three times higher than the global usage.
However, in some other countries the usage of data will not be as high as Europe or Japan because smartphones are used as a status symbol instead of a device for mobile data service. Within these countries, the ATPU is not expected to be as high as 43MB a month.
The iPhone is projected still to lead in this race because of the user interface experience and also because of the fact that the target market of Apple are premium users. Other smartphones will catch up because these units have been distributed all over the globe and because of the market price of the Android phones as well.
A 700% increase in ATPU is high which means good news for smartphone manufacturers. For Apple it is not going to be a breeze to stay on top because other smartphone manufacturers are up on their toes to market their units to all kinds of users. The race is on the way and the competitors are ready to answer the demand of its users. Will this projected increase be true after 5 years?