Market research firm VisionMobile has released a report, revealing that the worldwide mobile phone market is still dominated by feature phones. Despite all the craze around the latest iPhone or Android device and the spike in smartphone shipments, their global penetration has only reached 27 percent.
The report finds that smartphone adoption varied widely depending on region and that generally markets with extensive 3G coverage and post-paid subscription plans had the highest smartphone adoption rate. Smartphones account for 63 percent of mobile phones in the US, 51 percent in Europe, 19 percent in the Asia-Pacific, 18 percent in Africa/Middle East, and 17 percent in Latin America.
The markets dominated by feature phones are also dominated by pre-paid plans and price-oriented phones led by Nokia’s mid-tier Symbian phones and RIM’s consumer-targeted BlackBerry devices. However, Android devices are rising in these markets thanks to its low cost models, as the platform offers a wide range of price points.
Android and iOS continue to duke it out for the leading spot among smartphones, but VisionMobile believes that there won’t be one clear winner as both have reached a critical mass in users as well as in their app ecosystems. This leaves Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform and RIM’s BlackBerry to fight for the number three spot, if there’s even room for a third player.