Cellular phones with basic facilities such as text messaging, voice calling, audio and video visualization and camera are referred to as mobile phones. Cellular phones that offer advanced computing abilities such as Wi-Fi, web browsing, third party applications and mobile payment, solutions for information management, such as documents, emails and contacts, inbuilt GPS applications, and provides features such as voice and video calls and web access are referred to as smart phones. Apart from being a communication device, smart phones offer additional features such as internet access, Bluetooth, gaming, camera, multimedia messaging, FM radio, and multimedia functionalities. With technological advancements, phablets are witnessing gradual growth traction and has resulted in decline in rate of adoption for laptops and personal digital assistants globally. Recent years have witnessed a substantial change in the dynamics and structure of the global mobile phone and smart phone landscape. Currently, mobile phones and smart phones market is experiencing proliferation owing to factors such as decreased cost, improved design and functionalities such as enhancement in mobile browsing and email services, emergence of new network technologies such as 3G and 4G, improved professional and personal data supervision and the standardization and up-gradation of all operating systems.
The market is highly competitive with major players facing strong competition from the regional players thus creating difficulties for vendors retain their market shares. For instance, Nokia has lost a considerable amount of market share in the past two years. Android, iPhone OS (operating system), BlackBerry OS, Symbian and Windows are some of the operating system used in the smartphone. Blackberry operating system is popular in North America. iPhone operating system has recently witnessed a high growth rate in North America and is anticipated to grow in the forecast period as well. Increase in penetration of internet with technological advancements and up gradation of the network infrastructure is contributing to the growth of the market.
Currently, mobile phone and smart phone market is matured in the developed world with an average of more than one device or subscription per person. The growth of this market is from emerging regions such as Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where smart phone have witnessed proliferating with regional players introducing low cost products to obtain a competitive edge. China and India are currently the top contributors to this market and with the market still at the nascent stage; it is expected to witness exponential growth in near future.
Major players in the mobile phone and smart phone market include Apple Inc., Acer Inc., Asustek Computer Inc., Google Inc., Benq Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Huawei Technologies, Htc Corp, LG Electronics, Motorola Inc., Mitac Technology Corp., Nokia Corp., Research In Motion Ltd., Panasonic Corporation, Sagem Wireless, Sony Ericsson, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Spice Mobility Limited. The market has less entry barriers, so to reduce the threat from new entrants, these players are continuously engage in innovating new products to retain its customer base and in-turn its market share.