The State Of The Smartphone Industry [CHARTS]

Nomura Smartphone

Photo: Gartner, Company Estimates, Nomura

Ever wonder whether that profit warning by an Asian component supplier was relevant?Well Nomura analysts Romit Shah and Stuart Jeffrey have the answer, and they’ve allowed us to share their presentation.

The presentation details the key components in a smartphone, how much they cost, and how important each supplier is to the industry. 

Here are the quick takeaways:

  • The push into 4G will ramp up slowly as carriers upgrade their networks through 2016, leaving 3G the de facto technology.
  • 3G device sales will top 1 billion this or next year.
  • Apple dominates the manufacturing business, while Qualcomm leads the component market
  • Asia will account for nearly 40 per cent of the smartphone market by 2015.

First, a quick highlight of the front-of-phone parts and costs. A phone's memory chip is generally it's most expensive component.

And now a look at the back-of-phone. New high end cameras, including Apple's 8 megapixel lens, have boosted average input prices.

Although other components are more expensive, the cellular baseband chip remains the largest component sub-market.

Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are the lead component providers for mobile devices.

In 2011, Apple became the largest smartphone vendor, overtaking Nokia.

Apple currently accounts for 19 per cent of the market, neck-and-neck with Samsung.

And Apple has consistently outpaced competitors in setting and maintaining price.

Those higher prices mean it captures the highest industry margins, near 35 per cent.

Smartphone growth, which has hit its stride in the U.S. and Canada, is about to experience massive growth internationally, with Asia estimated to take up more than two-fifths of the market by 2013.

3G devices are expected to dominate that shift, even as faster 4G technologies come to market.

3G device sales will top 1 billion either this or next year.

That explosive growth has been led by Apple and Android operating systems, which together power more than 60 per cent of smartphones in use today.

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