The Smartphone Revolution

There are almost 7 billion people on the planet, only 1 billion or so of whom have a smartphone. According to Asymco, global smartphone penetration is less than 25%. US is at 54%. And there are approximately 25 months until smartphone penetration reaches 80% in the US. In EU smartphone penetration is at 55% according to ComScore.

According to ABI Research:

The global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion by the end of 2013, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. Of this base, 57% will run on Android and 21% on iOS. Meanwhile, there will be 268 million tablets in active use, with 62% of them built on iOS and 28% on Android. The annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44% for smartphones and 125% for tablets.

One of those best-kept secrets in the industry is MediaTek. From the Wired article ( The Next Global Smartphone Revolution: Made in Taiwan) we learn that:

MediaTek is the largest mobile chipmaker in Taiwan. Its chips power devices from the likes of Lenovo, Sharp and Acer, as well as Chinese giants like ZTE and Huawei. It generated about $3 billion in revenue last year selling chipsets for some 500 million phones, easily eclipsing Samsung, HTC and Apple in total volume. It’s already the biggest smartphone chip supplier in China, where its chipsets power some 30 to 50 percent of the smartphone handsets sold last year, according to analyst estimates. Yet few know who MediaTek is.

The company doesn’t sell phones under its own name. Instead, it supplies what it calls “reference designs” — which include the chip and the operating system, camera, display and more — that need little more than polish and personalization from the manufacturers branding and selling them. MediaTek intends to take that formula, which has worked exceptionally in the feature-phone market, and apply it to smartphones.And it has decided to use Android as OS for its smartphone reference designs.

In 2013, for the first time ever, global smartphone sales will exceed feature-phone sales.

Smartphone will cover the broad spectrum from $50 and less to $700 and more.

Some more stats:

Strategy Analytics: Android and Apple iOS Capture a Record 92 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2012

IDC Strong Demand for Smartphones and Heated Vendor Competition Characterize the Worldwide Mobile Phone Market at the End of 2012

IDC Android and iOS Combine for 91.1% of the Worldwide Smartphone OS Market in 4Q12 and 87.6% for the Year

Canalyis Q4 2012 marketshare, Android powered a third of all mobile phones shipped in Q4 2012

ComeScore Q4 2012 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share

Strategy Analytics: Apple iPhone 5 Becomes World’s Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q4 2012