For the uninitiated, a smartphone is a mobile phone which can connect to the internet and has the ability to run and purchase applications. Even a cheap smartphone is equipped with voice, data, wireless fidelity, Bluetooth and GPRS functions. Operating systems that are most frequently used in cheap smartphones include the Android by Google, iOS by Apple and Mobile 7 by Windows. Most smartphone handsets, including cheap smartphones, use the 3G wireless communication technology and switches over to Wi-Fi whenever it’s available. In fact, newer cheap smartphone handsets are being manufactures for accommodating the upcoming 4G technology.
Reports have revealed that worldwide, the sale of mobile phones to end-users totaled over 416 million units during the last quarter of 2011. This was a 35 per cent increase from the corresponding quarter in 2009. The sale of smartphones, including cheap smartphones, grew over 95 per cent from the third quarter during the last year. Smartphones constituted over 19 per cent of the total sales of mobile phones during the last quarter in 2010.
The United States has over 290 million mobile phone subscribers and mobile phone penetration in the country is over 92 per cent. More than one household in every four had mobile phones and no landline connection. Thus is an increase of over 2.1 per cent than 2009. Almost one household, in every six, use mobile phones exclusively despite having a landline connection. Across the world there are nearly five billion smartphone users, a substantial percentage of who use cheap smartphones.
As networks equipped with higher speeds are built, it’s expected that an increasing number of customers would switch to mobile internet. Smartphone owners are downloading thousands of applications and spending huge amounts of money via mobile payments. The younger generation, today, use their smartphones for most of their e-commerce transactions. And the most surprising part is that most of them haven’t been to a bank in years.
With more number of people taking to smartphones, the concerns about mobile phone security are also bound to rise. If you’re one of those who have bought a smartphone, use a unique number code to lock your phone. Over 50 per cent of smartphone users don’t use it and their handsets become more vulnerable to thieves and hackers. Besides, don’t store any banking password in your smartphone. Nearly 24 per cent users do so and 40 per cent of these people say that losing their handset would be worse than losing their wallet. Over two million cell phones are stolen or lost each year. That’s one phone in every 15 seconds.
As more mobile phone manufacturing companies focus their attention on making cheap smartphones, this segment is slated to witness a tremendous growth in the coming days. Add to that the lowering of subscription charges and smartphone users would have a gala time.