Mobile Tipping Point? Handset Sales, voice and SMS all down

Posted on November 14, 2012


  No not a seesaw in the garden,  though there have been as many tipping points in mobile recently for it to resemble a seesaw

However Vodafone reported a drop in SMS traffic this week and Gartner have reported that global handset sales have dropped 3.3% and service revenues in the uk off by 2.1%

Meanwhile Smartphones are growing YoY about 46%.


Smartphones, in markets which have subsidies are also selling smartphones on 24 month contracts,  which I think is why we are seeing a drop in overall handset sales.

Most normobs will not upgrade mid contract,  so the sales volumes are going to be weakened by this.  Of course for the opcos this is somewhat offset by the lowered churn this should bring,  and crucially therefore the fewer number of “saves” it must make and lower costs of acquisition.

So it looks like the Operators are going to see a reduction of over all sales over the coming couple of years as the push into 24 month contracts begins to bite.

As for those text and call revenues,  they are looking to be in decline,  and so the operators will need to look more and more to other types of revenue, if they are to maintain growth.

The question is,  from where will they grow the extra revenue, probably from Internet of Things or M2M as the opcos will call it, corporate sales and services, and maybe, just maybe they will finally start to be more aggressive with the placement of on bill payments like the Payforit here in the UK,  before the services like take over.

Posted in: mobile