Android to be darling of low-cost smartphone industry

The growth of open-sourceoperating systems such asAndroid, will bring down smartphone price points, driving the worldwide smartphone market to new heights, according to Juniper Research. The analyst firm's latest report on the market suggests that in emering markets, lower consumer spending power an

The growth of open-source operating systems such as Android, will bring down smartphone price points, driving the worldwide smartphone market to new heights, according to Juniper Research.

The analyst firm's latest report on the market suggests that in emering markets, lower consumer spending power and lack of operator subsidies "will make a low price point essential", according to report author Daniel Ashdown.

"In developed markets, many consumers will [also] want to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone, but still pay a feature phone price," Ashdown added.

Juniper now predicts that the market will reach one billion shipments per annum by 2016, up from 302 million in 2010. Competition among vendors offering premium handsets will intensify, driving many into the budget smartphone market, which Juniper classifies as an unsubsidised retail value of under $150 (£90).

However, the market for standard (up to $400) and premium (over $400) smartphones will remain robust as devices incorporate new technologies such as NFC, 3D and biometrics, said Juniper.

Features of other devices, such as handheld gaming consoles, will also become more commonplace as smartphones take on more characteristics of devices in adjacent market sectors.

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