Analysis of Mobile Communications Devices Industry
This report is focused on the segment of the Electronics industry that creates devices for mobile communications, and referred to as the Mobile Communications Devices industry in this report. The mobile communications devices industry is set for a hyper growth spurt. By 2020, Morgan Stanley predicts that the number of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, car electronics, etc.) could easily top 10 billion units. Mobile data traffic nearly tripled in 2010 due to usage of smart connected devices and significant progress in mobile network technology, and is driving revenue growth. Yet, Cisco expects it to increase another ...view middle of the document...
Recent developments include femtocells which enhance customers’ indoor 3G signals via a fixed line broadband connection and mobile Wi-Fi devices which allow customers to share their mobile broadband connection with others.
EXHIBIT 1: Mobile communications connections in March 2011: 5.6 billion (%)
Most of the future growth in mobile customers is expected to continue to be in emerging markets where mobile penetration is only around 70% compared to approximately 130% in mature markets such as Europe. The key driver of growth has been a fundamental need for communication services against a background of often low quality alternative fixed line infrastructure and strong economic growth.
The industry is made up of a number of companies as shown in Exhibit 2. Mobile communications is ramping up faster than desktop internet did and will be even bigger than most people think. The mobile revolution promises to be the biggest technological trend of our lifetimes, bigger than the personal computer revolution of the 1990s, and the desktop internet revolution of the early 2000s.
HISTORY AND ECONOMIC FEATURES OF THE INDUSTRY
A short history
The history of mobile communications devices industry is one of innovation, rapid growth, and strong competition. The industry has been evolving and growing at a rapid rate in the recent past. Although mobile phones have taken over current society, they have been around for several decades in some form or another. Beginning in the late 1940s, the technology that would later be used in today’s cell phones was created and the idea of a mobile phone was introduced.
EXHIBIT 2: Worldwide Mobile Device Sales – Q3-2011
The first mobile phones, referred to as First Generation or 1G, were introduced to the public market in 1983 by Motorola. These first mobile phones used analog technology, which was much less reliable than the digital technology used today. The analog phones also had a great deal more static and noise interference than consumers are accustomed to today. The first mobile phones during this era were confined to car phones and they were permanently installed in the floorboard of automobiles.
During the 1990s, great improvements were made in mobile phone technology. These phones used Second Generation, or 2G technology. In 1990, the first cell phone call was made using the new digital technology that became characteristic of this era. The Second Generation cellular phone technology was faster and much quieter than its analog predecessor. As a result, it became even more popular than previous models. The new technology also allowed them to be smaller rather than the large briefcase-sized units from the 1980s. Smaller batteries and other technology that made the phones more energy-efficient helped contribute to their smaller sizes and their popularity.
The Third Generation technology, or 3G, is what many people currently use in their digital cellular...