The Wearables and Devices sector delivers detailed analysis of the smartphone, tablet, and wearables industries with research extending from the underpinning enabling technologies implemented in future mobile devices to the demand and supply dynamics at work in the world’s markets. While these mobile devices create the largest global consumer electronics market, providing myriad opportunities, it also provides some of the toughest challenges for vendors as segments of the market mature. To counter this development, the practice provides an understanding of the next phase of growth in the mobile devices sector utilizing key segmentations, market data, and forecasts. Essential research areas to aid this understanding includes enterprise applications, mobile broadband adoption, the effects of new developing business models, demand shifts to the replacement market, the transformative impact of core enabling technologies (such as flexible displays, energy harvesting, array cameras, and smart biometrics), and new revenue opportunities in modular devices and smart accessories.
Mobile phone subsidies, which are seen as a “necessary evil” for the development of mobile phone services, have helped kick start the mass market for mobile phone services in many markets around the world. Handset subsidies are viewed as a loss leader strategy, a means for bringing new subscribers onboard, or encouraging existing subscribers to churn away from their existing network and onto a competitor’s. More recently there have been some initiatives to lessen the dependency on handset subsidies, but can operators really “kick the habit”? In the electronic products and services world, the mobile telecoms sector is unique in its adoption of handset subsidies. When customers purchase a digital camera or laptop at an IT store, they don’t get a subsidized device from Microsoft (for example) even though they will then buy an operating system (MS Windows), a productivity package (MS Office), take advantage of Microsoft’s multimedia and entertainment applications (Internet Explorer, Media Player, and so forth), and then upgrade one or more of those items over the following two or three years .