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Smartphone vendors to face growing price pressure

02 ноября 2010

Smartphone sales grew strongly in the third quarter from a year earlier, but vendors will face rising price pressure in 2011 as the growth increasingly comes from the mid-range of the market, research firm Canalys said Monday.

"Vendors are going to come under a lot of price pressure into 2011," Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham told Dow Jones Newswires."It will be a very aggressive market in terms of pricing."

In the third quarter, shipments of smartphones - advanced mobile phones with open operating systems - surged 95% year-on-year to 81 million units, driven by sales of devices based on Google Inc.'s Android platform, Canalys said in its latest smartphone market report.

Amid rising shipments from vendors like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sony Ericsson and China's Huawei Technologies Co., sales of Android smartphones grew to 20 million units from 1.4 million units a year earlier, giving the platform a 25% share of the smartphone market, Canalys said.

Finland's Nokia Corp. maintained its market-leading position with a 33% global market share, ahead of Android, iPhone-maker Apple Inc. with a 17% market share, and Blackberry-maker Research in Motion Ltd., with a 15% share of the global smartphone market, it said.

Smartphone shipments should continue to grow in 2011, although at a slower pace than in 2010 when sales have increased strongly from the recession-struck 2009, Cunningham said.

Still, while smartphone market growth has so far mainly been driven by the high-end segment, the market is now reaching a tipping point where the mid-level makes up a growing proportion of that growth, he said.

In particular, European operators are pushing mid-tier smartphones for the pre-paid market, such as Nokia's Symbian devices and cheaper Android phones like Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 mini, said Cunningham.

Smartphone makers will try to differentiate to maintain their pricing power but this may prove especially difficult for the growing number of Android device makers, as aggressive vendors like Huawei compete for a share of that market segment, he said.

Vendors will aim to compete with new technology, like premium cameras, and increasingly by integrating their handsets with other electronic devices, like home stereos and TV sets, Cunningham said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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