Given the persistently rising trend of smartphones in developing countries, it wouldn’t be surprising if internet companies tried new ways of offering enhanced internet service.
Despite the relatively poor network coverage in such regions, smartphone customers keep pouring in from all and sundry. With even more fresh devices targeting developing economies revealed at this year’s MWC, this trend is expected to appreciate.
GfK, a German research institute, confirms the rising trend with sales of smartphones growing to 1.3 billion that translates into a rise of 23 percent in 2014. The demand seems to have risen with a vengeance in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Interestingly, demand for smartphones has gradually descended in Japan, North America and Western Europe.
While smartphone growth in developed countries has stalled, developing regions are hotbeds for growth
While Apple persists with high-cost, premium smartphones, rivals companies such as Google, Samsung and Microsoft attempt to deliver on their plans of introducing highly affordable smartphones to the market. Some of these plans include a $29 smartphone by Microsoft and a $25 smartphone by Mozilla foundation. Google has already pitched in with a $105 handset for the Indian market.
Xiaomi has been the major driving force behind the booming market for budget smartphones, following its lead ahead of Samsung. Analysts acknowledge that users prefer to have SIM cards for several networks in order that they can switch networks to avail the cheapest rates. Users in these parts of the world typically seek access to Facebook, WhatsApp, online radio, text messaging and a reliable battery.
As the number of smartphone users appreciates to an expected three billion by 2020, internet and mobile firms will look to innovate. Google already has plans to incorporate drones containing network cells in order to offer internet to parts in developing countries that lack sufficient towers and telephone lines. Facebook has joined hands with various telecommunication corporations for the sake of enhancing network coverage in rural areas under development.