Mobile Phones for Messaging Will Grow to a Third of Feature Phone Shipments by 2015

Oyster Bay, New York - 18 Mar 2011

Although smartphones get all the attention, many consumers still continue to purchase less-expensive feature phones. In 2010, feature phones comprised over 75% of the handset market. Consumers purchase feature phones for a variety of reasons including the need for a device that is optimized for a specific application, such as messaging.

 

“A messaging phone is a feature phone that has been enhanced for messaging services including SMS, MMS, mobile email, and mobile IM. These devices have a QWERTY keyboard and other capabilities at a price that is usually more affordable than a smartphone,” says ABI Research senior analyst Victoria Fodale. “Mobile phones for messaging will encompass an increasing percentage of feature phone shipments, growing to almost a third of the category by 2015.”

 

Practice director Kevin Burden adds, “Mobile phones optimized for messaging are targeted to specific markets including consumers in developing regions who need affordable solutions for messaging and mobile Internet services.”

 

“In the developing regions of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, access to mobile broadband often outstrips fixed-line broadband access,” says Fodale. “For many users in those regions, their only Internet experience may be via a mobile phone.”

 

Extending the mobile Internet to feature phone users where connectivity is costly and slow is a growing trend. Recently Facebook launched a mobile app to extend its reach to feature phones. The Facebook for Feature Phones app works on more than 2,500 mobile devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other OEMs. The app was built in cooperation with Snaptu, a London-based company that provides a free mobile application platform.

 

A new ABI Research study, “Mobile Phones for Messaging” examines market and technology trends for feature phones that are enhanced for messaging with QWERTY keyboards. It highlights recent releases of messaging phones from leading carriers and OEMs, and discusses the technologies for messaging phones, including BREW MP, SMS, MMS, mobile email, and mobile IM. Forecasts include total wireless handset shipments, ASPs, and more. The report includes a worksheet that lists major messaging devices released during 2010.

 

It is included in the Smartphones & Mobile Devices Research Service, which also bundles other Research Reports, Surveys, Market Data products, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support.

 

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 30+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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