skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration


This report establishes and analyzes trends and developments in the low-end smartphone segment globally. It is mostly based on Ovum's World Cellular Handset Tracker, which comprehensively monitors smartphone launches and pricing by 60 operators across 35 countries.


  • The median price of prepaid and SIM-free smartphones decreased 28% between 4Q13 and 4Q14, from $360 to $258. High-end smartphones (over $500) do not tend to drop in price, whereas the average price of all smartphones is declining due to the growing presence of midrange ($300 to $500) and, especially, low-end (below $200) smartphones.
  • With 40+ manufacturers, the low-end smartphone segment is the most diverse and competitive. Most companies that operate in this segment are either relatively new market entrants (mainly from East and Southeast Asia) that aim to expand globally, or smaller regional OEMs. The segment is attractive for new entrants because of its relative simplicity.
  • Operators in developing markets should facilitate low-end smartphone adoption with branded devices by designing cheap operator-branded smartphones or by expanding the device lineup with new OEM partnerships. Device vendors should carefully reconsider OS selection for low-end smartphones to reduce device cost.

Features and Benefits

  • Summarizes and analyzes pricing and technical features of smartphones in different price bands across major and emerging markets.
  • Evaluates factors facilitating the growing availability of and demand for low-end smartphones.
  • Compares the competitive situation in different price segments.
  • Assesses low-end smartphone developments in various emerging markets.
  • Provides case studies on low-end smartphone policies by an OS developer (Google), vendors (Spice, Lenovo), and operators (Vodafone, Orange).

Key questions answered

  • What are the factors that are facilitating the decline in average smartphone price?
  • Why are availability of and demand for low-end smartphones growing in developing markets?
  • Is the technical gap between high-end and low-end smartphones shrinking?
  • Why is the low-end smartphone segment more competitive than the high-end and midrange segments?
  • Why is low-end smartphone segment competition more intense in developing markets than in developed ones?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Low-End Smartphones: Key Trends in Operator Channels


  • Further reading
  • Author

Recommended Articles

  • Internet of Things

    IoT Viewpoints 2018

    IoT Viewpoints explore the IoT opportunity in 2018 and beyond. Download our latest e-book to get our newest collection of thought leadership articles on the emerging IoT trends, technologies and opportunities.

    Topics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.

  • Enterprise Services

    5G: Another technology in search of enterprise use cases

    By Evan Kirchheimer 26 Apr 2018

    Service provider interest in justifying 5G investment through its potential to open new revenue streams from the enterprise segment is growing ever greater.


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

Email us at

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now