Smartphones and Mobile Operating Systems: Creating segmentation for an increasingly complex market

Published: January 2012

The smartphone market is now growing rapidly in the majority of markets globally but operators need to focus on their profitability and how to use smartphones as a platform to increase data usage.
David McQueen, Principal Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media

The smartphone market is expected to continue its rapid growth over the next five years and, as a consequence, is increasing in complexity. To reflect this market development, new opportunities are arising for smartphones to target various segments and price tiers. This has led to the implementation of a variety of strategies from players across the value chain, which is reflected in the market positioning of the different operating system platform suppliers.


    The smartphone market is exploding and increasing in complexity so that it can no longer be treated as a single segment with a specific addressable market and technology requirements. This segmentation is also creating huge differences in hardware requirements.

    As a result, the price differential continues to widen between the lowest and the highest ends of the market. The wide price range is fed by disparities in the addressable markets as buying decisions depend on consumers’ lifestyle, demography and disposable incomes. This new segmentations now also takes into account a number of key emerging elements including feature and functionality tiers, usability, pricing, market type (prepaid vs. postpaid) and access technology.

    Complete coverage of the smartphone and operating system (OS) markets:

      Mobile handset OS market trends – bringing you up-to-date with the latest smartphone sales forecasts and main issues, including the adoption of open source, the continuing importance of the user interface, the rise of Android and a potential return to more proprietary ecosystems.

      Mobile operating systems – to aid understanding, we clearly define mobile OS market segmentation, its market dynamics and the nature of closed and open architecture.

      Importance of handset software – reviewing handset ecosystem trends and market sizes, focusing on software and hardware integration approaches and their key contribution to the user experience.

      Stakeholder profiles – investigating how key players in the smartphone market have adapted their business models over the past 12 months to compete more effectively.

      Smartphone forecasts and analysis – covering volume sales and users for the key regions and countries, by operating system. New for this year are additional smartphone forecasts by defined segment, price tiers and form factor.

      Operating system profiles – our expert analysts compare and contrast the main operating systems through insightful company profiles, which include a detailed SWOT analysis, each analyzing:

    • Past, present and future version developments
    • Smartphone OS market share and strategy
    • Device vendor and operator deals
    • App store offerings and developer relationships.

    All the important smartphone and OS issues addressed:

      Which device platforms will sell most?

      What share of the handsets market will smartphones gain per year to 2016?

      Which devices are being used for what? And how does this differ from region to region?

      How do OS platforms stack up against each other? Check using our in-depth SWOT analysis.

      What segments will be best served by the operating systems, including regional disparities?

      What are the strategies for the key stakeholders?

      What are the forecasts for OS volume sales and user figures to 2016?

      What are the key results from our 3Q11 industry smartphone survey?

Regional and segmented mobile OS data and analysis:

    Key market data and forecasts for handset volume sales and users are provided globally and broken down by each of the following:

    Regions and countries:

    North America
  • US
  • Canada

  • Latin America
  • Brazil
  • Rest of Latin America

  • Asia Pacific
  • Japan
  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Rest Asia Pacific (Developed)
  • Rest Asia Pacific (Developing)

  • Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Russia
  • Rest of Eastern Europe

  • Africa and the Middle East
  • Africa
  • Middle East

New segmentations for 2011:

    Product tier:

  • “Entry level” smartphones

  • “Core/mass market” smartphones

  • “Super” smartphones

  • Form factor/usability:

  • QWERTY only

  • Touchscreen only

  • Hybrid smartphones

  • Telephony

  • Price tier

  • New Report format - designed for sharing
    This research is available from our online store either as a hardcopy report or electronic format, featuring a series of PDF, PPT and XLS files, each designed to provide you with business critical intelligence which is easy to share with your colleagues.

Contributing authors:

Pricing Information
Smartphones and MOS paper copy
Smartphones and MOS single user pdf
Smartphones and MOS 2-5 user pdf