Optimus L5

Sub-$250 devices could represent as much as 46-percent of smart phones sold by 2018

As much as the latest high-end devices steal the news cycle (especially at a time like this), a large number of the phones sold around the world are still decidedly mid- and low-end. If analysis by ABI Research is to be believed, shipments of these low-end devices are going to increase at a much faster pace than the market as a whole. In 2018, 788 million low-end smart phones are expected to be shipped, compared to mid- and high-end devices combined at 925 million.

Depending on the market, the reasons for this may be slightly different, however. For emerging markets that are much more price-sensitive, low-end devices may be the only option those consumers have to get their hands on something with internet access. As carriers in those areas look to maximize profits from data traffic, they will push to have very inexpensive smart phones available for them.

In less price-sensitive (or heavily subsidized) markets like Western Europe and the U.S., there are still millions upon millions of people waiting to make that move from their feature phone onwards to a smart phone. Factoring the jump to a more expensive monthly rate including data, those consumers may need a stepping stone in the way of a more affordable (think $0 on-contract) option. These inexpensive phones also have the added bonus of carrying a smaller subsidy for the carriers to manage. Remember that while we like to focus on the highest of high-end devices, there's a whole market out there for phones that are a little more pedestrian.

Source: ABIresearch (BusinessWire)


Reader comments

Shipments of low-cost smart phones poised to dramatically increase


Yea the high end or Flagship devices get all the press. But the majority of the devices sold are the Mid range and entry level devices by a very large margin.

I think the time is finally coming when the mid-range devices are adequate enough to not give Android a bad name any longer. The components have dropped significantly in the past year. All these junk phones cause people to piss an moan that Android isn't an iphone...well, iphones cost $600 unsubsidized as do the flagship Android phones, but that's something people can't understand when the Walmart employee is trying to sell them on it.

My question is how much market share do low/mid end phones have right now? Also, what's considered low/mid end compared to high end? If low end in 2018 is equivalent to the GS4 now, then of course the market share of low/mid end will be much higher than it is now....

Yes, please. A $200 non-subsidized phone that doesn't lag and w/ good battery would be awesome to get my mom on my T-Mo family and the included 500MB.

I was going after the best and most expensive phones but decided that changing my device every year or sometimes more often is just stupid! Now I buy medium range phones and I don't feel like I'm throwing away my money every time I want to check something new. Also I don't feel gutted when I drop my phone!!!

As nice as the too tier phones are and with bleeding edge technology; I often find that I like the look and feel of low to mid range phones more. And with today's specs and screen technology you can get a nice phone that will work great for the non hardcore user sub $299 USD. And as someone mentioned earlier if you break it or get a new phone every year you would feel a little less guilty :D

Got my Mom an LG Optimus L7 for her birthday and shes loves, even I love it because I never expected it to be so GOOD LOOKING and Fast, I'm happy i got it for her :)