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Global Telephony Industry


The global telephony industry has gone from strength to strength thanks to advances in telecommunication technology. Applications and features traditionally only accessible through personal computers are increasingly being used on mobile devices such as smartphones. Consumers are able to browse the web, and send email and instant messages through social media networks like Twitter and Facebook via their mobile phone.


As with computers, smartphones are vulnerable to malwares and viruses. The smartphone security market is, therefore, growing in tandem with smartphone sales.



Key Market Segments


  • Smartphone demand continues to grow thanks to its many functions, including mobile web browsing, applications and mobile data services (engendering a lower demand for landlines). Changing handset usage trends are driving data traffic, with “mobile display” (10-inche or less displays for mobile domains) one of the leading hardware features for mobile handset makers. According to ROA Holdings, mobile display sales are outpacing laptop display sales (even though laptops can be used to communicate via VOIP) to reach an overall shipment of 3 billion, generating revenue of $24 billion.
  • Smartphone shipments exceeded 300 million units in 2010, reports Coda, and are expected to reach almost 950 million by 2015, representing yearly growth of over 25%. Expansion will be uneven, with North Amrican shipments growing over 15% and Western European shipments growing closer to 25% through 2015. Asia-Pacific will outpace the EU, at close to 35% annual growth. Android smartphones will lead the market with shipments of 415 units in 2015, and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will represent a fifth of the market.
  • Growing in tandem with smartphone sales, the smartphone security market is expected to reach close to $3 billion by 2016, growing almost 45% per year, according to Markets and Markets. The EU represents the largest regional market, at almost a third of the overall global smartphone security market, followed by North America. Asia-Pacific is the region recording the most dynamic growth, at a yearly rate of almost 50%.



Regional Market Share


  • The US is the second-largest regional cellular market in the world, with almost 155 million subscribers, or around half the population, according to Taiyou Research. The US wireless phone market continues to record rapid growth. Feature phones are a leading sub segment of the market, though smartphones are encroaching on their market share. Android, iPhone and BlackBerry remain market leaders. The market is affected by economic climate, interest rates, disposable income trends, demographics and wireless service costs. Samsung claimed the top spot in the US market with over 22% market share, followed by LG Electronics, which had a stake of just less than 22%, and Nokia at less than 10%.


  • China’s telecom market is the nation’s most rapidly growing industry, with around 750 subscribers in 2010, according to research from private firm Dion. The increasing trend of MVAS platforms and the introduction of 3G services gave the sector a major boost.



Industry Leaders


Leading players operating on the global telephony market include Nokia, Apple, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, HTC, Huawei and RIM. Finland-based Nokia employs almost 140,000 people worldwide and made net sales of $54,000 million in 2010, a 4% increase on 2009. Samsung came in 22nd on the Fortune Global 500 ranking in 2011, employs over 80,000 people and generated revenue of almost $134,000 million in 2011. Based in Stockholm (Sweden), Ericsson employs over 100,000 people worldwide, with around 20% in research and development. The company made close to $8 billion in net sales in the third quarter of 2011.



Market Outlook


Smartphones may well become the most-used device to connect consumers with other people and the internet. Smartphone demand is expected to outpace feature phone demand before 2012.


As the global recession eases somewhat and consumers find themselves with rising disposable income, the demand for smartphones is expected to rise, especially in China where an expanding middle class is driving the market. With faster connectivity thanks to 3G services, the demand for smartphones with advanced internet features is increasing. Other features, such as games like Angry Birds, will continue to popularize smartphones among younger consumers.



Leading Industry Associations




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