As BlackBerry's one-time success story quickly unravels in the public eye, consumers are looking elsewhere in the North American mobile marketplace. And analysts point towards other trends that have been stealing the spotlight.
The number of smartphone owners in
Today's bring your own device (BYOD) workplace has welcomed the use of smartphones like the iPhone and Droid that target consumers who desire intuitive touchscreens and entertaining apps into the corporate world.
"In the BYOD world, companies are giving employees
This contradicts trends of the past, when companies issued their own devices, namely the BlackBerry, with the implication that it would be used solely for workplace communications.
Today, about 75 per cent of companies allow personally owned devices to be used in the workplace for corporate communications. This number is expected to rise, given that only 24 per cent of companies currently have formal compliances in place for BYOD programmes.
As the number of compliance programmes grows, so will the number of companies shifting to BYOD.
The rapid expansion of BYOD has boosted smartphone sales in the consumer market. Globally, the number of the devices sold year over year is expected to grow by nearly 30 per cent this year, according to
Downloadable apps are also an important part of the equation when determining which smartphones consumers prefer.
This sharp increase, from an estimated 80 billion this year, is a result of many consumers in developing markets upgrading from feature phones to smartphones, and a growing number of apps downloaded at no upfront cost.
Meanwhile, the data portion of mobile phone contracts "is becoming more and more dominant", says
Mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets is expected to exceed 90,000 petabytes by 2017, equivalent to about 7 billion Blu-ray movies, says
However, only 40 per cent of the data generated by these devices will reach the cellular network by 2017, as the majority of traffic will be via the Wi-Fi network.
These trends have positioned Samsung, Apple and
However, smartphone shipments within
"Our recently published report indicates that the most mature markets will begin to wane in their proportion of global smartphone shipments, with
In emerging markets, however, as adoption picks up, retail prices will come down.
"Conversely, in emerging markets where smartphone adoption is currently limited, growth will be fuelled as the retail price point for entry level smartphones continues to fall,"
The roll-out of fourth-generation (4G) mobile networks is another major trend driving the mobile marketplace.
"Especially in America, it's been an incredible run with the roll-out of 4G.
The expansion of 4G networks will allow consumers to be able to stream, download, upload and game at faster rates.
Likewise, consumers are also expecting more when it comes to operating systems on their mobile phones.
According to comScore's latest quarterly survey,
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