back to article Smartphone sales to new users 'have peaked'

The smartphone market will establish its maturity this year: 2012 will be the last time the shipment of handsets to new users grows. According to figures posted by market watcher NPD DisplaySearch, smartphone shipments have been dominated by upgrade sales - handsets bought by people who already own a smartphone - but until now …

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Mushroom

If I ruled the world every day would be the first day of spring and..................

..............on the second day all the lying snakeoil salesmen analysts would be lined up against a wall and shot. I am so piss tired of reading the largely totally useless and usually wholly inaccurate spewing of this bunch of overpaid crystal ball fiddlers that I do not know where to begin to express my feelings on the subject. <rant over>

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Devil

Duh

* Smartphones have been dominating the shelves about ~2 years now.

* The average user willl change his phone every 2 - 3 years .

* Therefore anyone that bought a phone in the last 2 years probably already has a smartphone.

And since this represents the majority we can reach the conclusion that sales have peaked.

What is that these analysts are really paid for, is it just wonderfull Powerpoint presentations or aesthetically pleasing brochures ?

Why do we never see these analysts producing anything unexpected every once in a while. ( Or is it that ElReg only reports on the "stating the obvious" analyses).

Or are these "facts" only brought out in order to influence market shares held by the Analysts.

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There are still untapped markets

For example the business and engineering market. Not everyone wants a shiny toy, there are people who want to actually _do_ something.

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Re: There are still untapped markets

For example the business and engineering market. Not everyone wants a shiny toy, there are people who want to actually _do_ something.

Such as? What do existing phones need to have to be able to serve these needs that apparently only you see? Do they need to be bigger, faster, come with a full sized qwerty keyboard, what?

If it is software, then I can't imagine there aren't already apps out there that serve these needs (though perhaps not as well as you think they should) unless you are talking about exact compatilibility with specific things like Microsoft Office or Mentor Graphics, in which case I think you'll find the reason those apps don't exist is because it is ridiculous to think one could be productive with them on a phone.

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Coat

re:If I ruled the world every day would be the first day of spring and.

Well, Vive to that and an eclair for both of us !

in 2016, I predict that console sales will also stagnate, and new consoles will not sell as well as in 1990 proportionally to the number of people that played console games, or heard about them whilst playing badmington. This is based on a stringent analysis methodology named "wild stab in the dark", which is incidently what some of these analysts are going to get one day if they don't start being more helpful.

Sorry plagariarism there, but I am only able to re-use existing data, not to create anew.

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Coat

New customers

Every time the price comes down the number of people who can afford a smartphone goes up. Prices have a ways to go yet, therefore there remain a large number of people who haven't get got a smartphone who will.

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Thumb Up

Re: "New customers" Careful, if you display too much of that kind of intelligence and common.......

...........sense your chances of achieving a lucrative career as an analyst will be zero - those companies do not appear to have much time for employing people who show any signs of joined thinking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New customers

Not unless they fix the battery life. In many developing countries a cell phone is the only means of communication for quite a lot of people. And while they may have a cell phone there are still many places where charging that phone every day can be a challenge. If they don't significantly improve on the battery life these people will stick to their feature phones with battery life measured in days, not hours.

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Re: New customers

Last I checked, they're already pretty close. The things that beat down smartphone battery lives are the things the developing world can easily turn off and do without: Bluetooth, WiFi, network tech beyond 2G, and (either partially or completely) data connections. Add in a distinct lack of desire to play videos (music, maybe, but that's manageable) and the battery life in today's smartphones can compete. Add to that the fact that most smartphones have now standardized on MicroUSB (whereas many feature phones maintain proprietary connectors) and you get an increased incentive for novel aftermarket devices like solar-powered chargers and secondary battery units for long excursions (because with standardized plugs, they'll work on most any phone). Plus, if the charger cable gets mangled, it's a lot easier to get another one. Suddenly, smartphones become the smarter investment.

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population of Earth still growing, means new users that will buy also new phones, besides those who upgrade. It will only peak when the population of Earth starts to stabilise or decrease.

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Even that's covered.

With the upgrade market in full swing, not all the used phones get sold or traded in. A decent number of them will likely become hand-me-down phones (my first cell phone was a hand-me-down). That should cover most of the growing part of the market (which is also less likely to be able to buy in).

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It's bound to happen.

Sooner or later, a market saturates--reaches all the people that are possible to reach. With smartphones available for $100 or less (for cheap-but-still-useable devices), it's soon becoming a case of "you have it already" or "you're not interested at all", especially as feature phones have been steadily disappearing from most markets.

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Anonymous Coward

Still waiting for anything worth spending on

I have resisted wasting money on a Smartphone so far, I just don't see the need for it. I have a PC or netbook wherever I spend most of my time. So I'm not rushing. Why does my phone have to be a computer? I'm not itching for such a thing.

The only thing that would get me to open my wallet would be an unlocked phone around the 100 quid mark with a camera at least as good as a well rated point-n-shoot.

So far, going by reviews and example shots, such a thing doesn't yet exist, despite - from what I can see - no valid technical reasons why it can't.

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FAIL

Re: Still waiting for anything worth spending on

A well rated point and shoot costs >100gbp. How do you expect the economics to work for an unlocked (and hence unsubsidised) phone (which costs money for electronics aerials etc) incorporating such a camera to cost less than the camera it incorporates?

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