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July 03, 2013

Smartphone Market Shifting to BRIC and Other Nations

Brazil, Russia, India and China, also known as BRIC, are growing at a fast rate, increasing their middle-class and opening market opportunities for many of the products this segment demands. According to a new report by ABI Research, these four countries will hold four of the top seven smartphone markets by 2018. Additionally, the report says China will surpass the U.S. in 2013 as the leading market for these devices.

The marketing strategy of smartphone vendors and value chains has to shift in order to accommodate this market, not only for these four nations, but for other countries around the world as well. The biggest hindrance of this technology in these countries is the implementation of networks capable of producing broadband speed. As more 3G/4G and LTE networks become part of the wireless network in these countries, smartphone adoption will be as high as other developed nations. This will greatly depend on the introduction of new smartphones with lower price points designed for these markets.

While the Android platform has 60 percent of the market share, Apple and Microsoft have 19 and 18 percent respectively. The lead Android enjoys is based on the adoption of this platform by many manufacturers around the world. This diversified group addresses not only the most lucrative global markets with high-end devices, but also developing countries with products that have a low price points. Apple has mentioned it will be introducing a cheaper iPhone to compete with Android, but the company hasn't announced a definite delivery date.

"When you look at operating system share in emerging markets, you tend to find that Android has been busy fulfilling its mission to bring the Internet to consumers who can’t afford a traditional PC or Laptop," said senior practice director Jeff Orr.

The report forecasts Russia will jump from its current position of the 11th largest smartphone market in 2013 to seventh by 2018. The total smartphone shipments for the BRIC countries by 2018 will account for 33 percent of worldwide market, which will be the same as the North American and Western European market.

“With room to grow, the emerging BRIC nations are displacing established markets such as the U.S. and Japan as market leaders in terms of smartphone shipments,” said senior analyst Michael Morgan.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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