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iPhone, BlackBerry killing mid-range phone market

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Mon August 9, 2010

Apple and RIM make up 66pc of phone revenue

Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry line are effectively strangling the market for mid-range phones, analysts at Deutsche Bank found in a new report. The companies now represent two thirds of all phone revenue but combined only make up about 10 percent of the market, leaving very little room for anything but very low-end, high-volume devices. Korean companies are suffering the most as their focus on feature-laden but "dumb" phones that are no longer selling as well.

"We think the change that Apple has forced on the industry continues to play out," the bank said. "Those mid-range feature phones used to be Samsung's and LG's bread and butter products upon which they built their operations. Those kinds of phones are vanishing from the shelves in the US, increasingly replaced by high-end smartphones subsidized down to mainstream prices."

LG, Samsung and companies that had previously thrived in the mid-range, such as Motorola and Sony Ericsson, have lately found themselves having to switch to smartphones to stay profitable. Nokia is currently the market leader in sheer units, but its dependence on low-end phones has collapsed its profits and handed market share to Apple and RIM even in once secure markets, such as Europe.

Many of the better-selling phones in the US now cost between $100 and $200 with smartphone plans even on contract. Most basic phones, meanwhile, are frequently selling for $50 or less and are sometimes free. [via GigaOM]

By Electronista Staff


  1. James Katt

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2008


    What's wrong with having competition?

    Apple (and RIM) started and continued the trend to smartphones as the more desirable type of phone to have.

    If the other companies are having problems, then it is their fault.

    The new mid-rage phone is the iPhone. Why would anyone want anything less? Even RIM is dying down.

    And whatever happened to the Android phones? Aren't they suppose to be the cheap and midrange phones? HTC is making money hand over first for them. I suppose you can blame HTC for killing Samsung, LG, and Nokia's market since HTC makes all those Android Phones.

  1. fizzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009


    it's not the phones...'s the carriers that make you buy a full data plan just to use text and Twitter on a feature phone. You might as well get a smartphone and take full advantage of the data plan if you have to pay for it anyway.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Darn you, Apple!

    For "...the change that Apple has forced on the industry..."

    Darn you all to heck! ;)

  1. solefald

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008


    forced chane?

    No. It is called not being ready. I realize that there is nothing like a quiet mediocrity, but maybe all those companies should have been looking ahead, instead of comfortably releasing more of the same, year after year, without much innovation involved.

    Thank you, Apple for taking the roof of this entire market and making it pretty damn exciting.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Good thing

    "... "dumb" phones that are no longer selling as well."

    And what's wrong (or particularly surprising) with that? Nothing.

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