back to article One sixth of the ENTIRE PLANET will buy a new smartphone this year

One in six human beings are set to buy a new smartphone this year, Juniper has predicted, with the sales surge driven by the availablilty of mobes which cost under a hundred quid. It said international smartphone shipments will approach 1.2 billion this year, an increase of 19 per cent from the 985 million handsets shipped in …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good enough is the enemy of great

    Cheap smartphones appear bound to make inroads, as soon as they are good enough for what most (young) people do with their phones. That's essentially messaging, relatively simple games, and, er, phone calls. Watching videos would be a fourth point if enough bandwidth was available everywhere. Now, last year's mid-market phones are perfectly good for that sort of things, and they will be next year's cheapo phones.

    Translation for IT people: Most customers don't even need the latest tech. They just need good enough tech specs, and will then go for cheapness and, surprisingly, ease of use.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Good enough is the enemy of great

      So it was for PC's, and so it shall be for smartphones and tablets...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good enough is the enemy of great

      "Cheap smartphones appear bound to make inroads, as soon as they are good enough for what most (young) people do with their phones. "

      That may be true for teenage loafers in the US or Europe, but the bulk of the growth is "good enough" phones being sold to developing markets. For somebody on a few dollars a day (if they're lucky), they aren't buying a $100 phone to play Angry Birds (or whatever shite is today's hot game). They are buying it to get advice on weather for agricultural needs, to check seed or produce prices, to get remote medical advice, to learn stuff, to arrange transport, find and buy spare parts etc.

      And because developing markets can leapfrog the need for expensive fixed line infrastructure, their countries can invest in other things that are more useful, so (nationally speaking) this can avoid the need for universal fixed line telecoms that would otherwise consume billions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good enough is the enemy of great

        Incidentally, I guess the greatest uptake for those new mobiles will be the developing-country middle classes, most or many of whom will be city dwellers. And yes, they will google or baidong medical advice (or partnership advice or other advice), but being for the most part young(ish) people they will also text like Western folk do, and use their phones for relationship building.

        The often-cited image of the African farmer checking seed prices on her mobe is I think a bit skewed, as she may do it once in a while but certainly not often enough to justify even a 100$ investment; and she will just possibly have invested some 10$ previously into a transistor radio that has as good a weather forecast as is available (or go and ask the neighbour who has one). I can rather picture the same farmer keeping occasional contact with the kids who try to make a living in town. Don't expect people in developing countries to use technology much more sensibly than we do, though.

  2. SuccessCase

    You gotta laugh. These companies are so transparent. Juniper get a great deal of business from Microsoft, who have been failing to make headway in developed nations and against Samsung and Apple in particular and suddenly premium mobes are "ultra-premium." Makes them sound niche.

    You might think I'm being paranoid and it's true I don't know for sure what Juniper's motivation is. However I have worked with these research companies and I know that is precisely the kind of "tuning" they do for their biggest clients, so I'm 90% sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its a common strategy

      If you can't succeed in a market, define yourself into a new market (Intel redefining the Surface as a "2 in 1" so Intel leads that new market segment) or define your competition into another market (iPhone, GS5 and Note 4 are now "ultra premium", so Windows Phone doesn't have to compete with them in its market segment)

  3. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    A friend of mine just bought a "Cubot One" off Amazon - loves it. Seriously nice looking, well put together phone, just over a hundred quid. And these guys are not the only ones making phones like that by any stretch of the imagination. I do seriously have to wonder how long the likes of Apple and Samsung can charge small fortunes for their kit when stuff like that is around...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Don't tell my venerable old Sony Ericsson W810i

    She still handles phone calls and music very nicely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shhhhh

      Likewise my very old Nokia 1600 still makes phone calls in areas where newer phones can't.

  5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    One sixth of the ENTIRE PLANET will buy a new smartphone this year

    Just one? Is the iPhone 6 really that expensive now?

  6. thomas k.

    I've done my part then

    I recently bought a refurbished HTC One (M7). :) A bit north of a 100 quid, though. :(

    Does it still count if it's not used as a phone? (I've an ancient Samsung feature phone to make calls with.) I bought it to use as a music player as my N900's getting a bit long in the tooth.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mercifully, they'll mostly buy new cheap phones -

    /sarcasm mode on/

    rather than buying our used ones; saving us, on the one hand, end- and fruitless discussions on whether it's morally justifiable to swamp developing countries with cheap used Western stuff when they could perfectly when they could perfectly well used new products made in China, or even locally; and on the other hand they'll all use their own cobalt capacitors and produce their own toxic waste, rather than leaving us as the only, or main, sinners.

    /sarcasm mode off/

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If price was the significant factor then noone would own an iphone. They do, it isn't.

    1. Rustident Spaceniak

      no-none would own an iphone?

      Considering that 500 million of the things had been sold by this March, a lot of people for whom price *ought to be* a significant factor must have bought one anyway.

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Smartphones are so old these days

    Pretty soon we'll all think digital (smart) watches are a good idea.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Mikel

    They are stating the obvious

    And over a billion Android devices will be sold this year. It is an abundance of technology. The real winners are the customers just joining the game: they haven't had to pay for the long slog to affordable devices being sufficient. Some of those early devices were maddening.

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    How do you feel?

    One in six human beings are set to buy a new smartphone this year....

    Bloody sheep. Boy do I feel smug that I bucked the trend and bought one last year!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2. ????

    My suggestion -

    2. round off corners

    Better offers?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022