Entry-level smartphones address emerging markets
Mobile manufacturers shipped over 55 million smartphones during the first quarter of 2010. According to ABI Research, the fastest growth was observed in markets with minimal previous exposure to expensive, cutting-edge smartphones.
"With new less expensive models becoming available, the global market is becoming much more diverse. An example is provided by Nokia. Its shipments rose QoQ from 20.8 million to 21.5 million despite the usual quarterly decline," senior ABI Research analyst Michael Morgan told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.
"[This] built on an explosive last quarter of 2009 which saw the firm's smartphone shipments expand 25%, largely on the strength of its new models such as the 'C' and 'X' lines which are really experience-focused, lower-cost smartphones that directly address those newer markets."
Morgan also noted that Nokia had "a history of success" in lower-cost feature phone markets.
However, the company only recently refreshed its formerly exclusive "high-end" smartphone lineup with several entry-level options.
"Obviously, these are not iPhone-killers. They're simpler, lower-end devices, not bleeding-edge top-of-the-line technologies, but they can still deliver satisfying social networking and other basic smartphone experiences."