As we approach the end of Q4 in 2009, the demand for smartphones continues to grow week by week. Dominant ‘classic’ feature phone manufacturer Nokia faces increasing pressure from the smartphone craze, with the likes of Research in Motion, Apple and HTC making their mark.
Finnish giants Nokia have changed tactic however, with their aim to consolidate their portfolio of smartphones. John Strand, CEO of Strand Consult, believes that the line between feature and smartphones has blurred due to a “technology shift” and not because of a tirade to extinguish the need for low-end ‘classic’ feature phones.
Strand admitted: “Only a few customers deliberately purchase smartphones. Most want a reasonably-priced phone with smart features. Whether a customer ends up with a smartphone or a feature phone is a matter of coincidence.”
Nokia mobile phones continue to succeed throughout the marketplace. Its latest smartphone, the Nokia N900 is available on the market as an enhancement on the Nokia N97 and N97 mini. The Maemo-powered handset has now been given an official UK release date. oppo a53
Low-end ‘classic’ feature phones make up 45% of the Nokia mobile phone sales. Interestingly, Nokia smartphones only take 15% of the total units shipped, but it appears this is a percentage that is on the increase over the last 12 months.
A Nokia spokesperson said: “We expect that in 2010, volume for the overall mobile device market will increase about 10 percent year over year. And we expect the smartphone segment will grow much faster. People can do more with smartphones which offer advanced capabilities and PC-like functionality, and this is definitely more attractive to consumers compared to feature phones.”
That final point is a statement that rings true to the majority of business and regular smartphone users. The additional capabilities of a smartphone and its ability to synchronise with PC applications make it the ideal component. However, the speed in which technology is shifting means there will always be consumers left behind. Casual mobile phone users will continue to use ‘classic’ feature phones despite the quickening growth of the smartphone sector.