Historical Sales Important

Chetan Sharma has an interesting free report on the untapped mobile data opportunity (pdf).

The report focusses on how network operators can concentrate on new brands, affordable data plan pricing and killer user experiences to create new categories of devices and data services plans to increase the number of subscribers consuming data.

The interesting part of myself and other mobile developers is that while, in 2009, smartphones are expected to be approximately 19% of the global device shipments for the year, they will only account for the 9% of the global market. Why?

As I have commented previously, statistics reflect latest sales, not necessarily the current makeup of the market. The trend for operators to lock consumers into increasingly long contracts means that people are not getting new phones and that the installed base more closely reflects phones that were sold over the last few years. It will be a few more years until the market makeup more closely reflects today’s sales.