About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


Smartphone Market Movements

The continuing strong demand for smartphones has revitalised the global handset market, with the smartphone installed base expected to double by the end of 2011, compared with 2009 levels. Last year, overall global mobile handset sales (smartphones and standard handsets combined) exceeded 1.3 billion units, with Chinese and Indian markets leading the charge, growing by approximately 30% whereas the established markets in Japan, Western Europe and the USA experienced more modest single-digit expansion.

Within this overall market growth, the shift from standard handsets to smartphones is happening at an accelerated rate, with Futuresource research showing that smartphones will account for nearly one third of total global handset sales this year, which equates to around two thirds in terms of value. Looking to the USA and UK, smartphones will account for closer to 50% of total handset sales this year.

The key driver behind the recent smartphone market movements is the rise of the Google Android operating system and Android-powered handsets. The OS battle between Android and Apple iOS started to heat up in the second half of 2010, when global Android-powered handset sales drew level with those of the iPhone. Overall in 2010, Android OS accounted for 24% of global smartphone sales and the iPhone for 17%. In 2011, Android is expected to strengthen its position and take an increasing share of the smartphone market. More manufacturers are supporting Google's mobile operating system and launching increasingly low-and midrange Android-powered devices, opening up the smartphone market to a wider audience, particularly the youth segment. However, device fragmentation continues to be an issue for the Android platform, constraining developers and publishers and hindering the creation of appealing applications and content similar to Apple's iOS ecosystem.

In Japan, after a big drop in sales in 2008 and 2009, Japanese mobile handset sales recovered last year, growing by 5%, with the recovery process driven by strong growth in the smartphone market - which grew by over 100%.

The Japanese mobile handset market used to be dominated by local manufacturers, including Sharp, Fujitsu and NEC. However, with the introduction of Apple's iPhone in 2008, the demand for non-domestic brands has accelerated and the Japanese smartphone market is quickly catching up with markets in the US and Western Europe. Futuresource forecasts show that by the end of this year, smartphone sales will account for 45% of total handset sales, up from just 25% last year. Apple is leading smartphone sales in the Japanese territory and is expected to account for one third of Japan's uptake of smartphones this year, although the Android operating system is gaining support from local manufacturers.

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