As markets mature in the mobile phone industry, the double digit growth rates are declining and shipments of new mobile phones are likely to grow at just under 6% in the coming years. A recent market survey by In-Stat confirms that the mobile phone market is not showing an increase in appetite for mobile phones in the western countries.
The survey also comes up with some interesting observations, 80% of the world mobile phone market is captured by just five top mobile phone manufacturers (Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson would be my guess) and the overall worldwide handset market is worth $112 billion. So which countries are appearing on the top list of growth? No surprises here; India, China and Eastern Europe are being termed as the new emerging markets and mobile phone users are still being added as subscribers in these economies at a scorching rate.
So will the US and Europe end up with the r&d leftovers from the Asian and Eastern European markets? Probably not, these markets are still huge, with growth or without. However a significant portion of their research efforts are likely to be diverted to ensure that the emerging market requirements are duly met by these top mobile phone manufacturers. Customization for the emerging markets has been language specific and extensive, user studies are bound to show some more areas of improvements in the near future.