By the end of 2009, the world’s mobile handset accessories market will have chalked up a value of nearly $55 billion, according to ABI Research.
• In the United States, 71 percent of mobile phone users say they would “definitely” or “probably” stay with their current network operator when they buy their next phone, according to a Strategy Analytics survey.
• After a massive 27.7 percent surge in spending on wireless infrastructure in China, spending in that region will decline slightly in 2010 to $6.1 billion as China Telecom finishes buying equipment for its 3G network. The carrier spent an estimated $6.3 billion on the buildout in 2009, reports iSuppli.
• By 2013, more than 60 percent of all the Internet-connected mobile devices sold will be through carrier channels, In-Stat predicts. Nearly 31 percent of notebooks will be sold through carriers in 2013.
• Smartphones got cheaper in 2009. About 27 percent of smartphones sold for under $200 this year, compared to just 18 percent at that price point in 2007. By 2014, 45 percent of smartphones will be priced below $200, according to ABI Research.
As the ever-important fourth quarter is in full swing, it’s worth taking a look at the last quarter, which delivered some definite winners and losers in the wireless industry.
The iPhone effect was in full swing at AT&T, which came out on top with an impressive gain of 2 million net subscribers, a record-low churn rate and a 4 percent rise in postpaid ARPU.
Verizon Wireless didn’t fare as well. Its net adds fell well behind AT&T’s with just 1.2 million new customers; its ARPU slipped to $51.04; and its profits fell 30 percent over last year.
There were plenty of other carriers to share the misery. Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS Communications, U.S. Cellular and Leap Wireless International all had some rough spots over the course of the quarter. Sprint took a major hit as its losses widened 46 percent to $478 million, its churn rate ratcheted up to 2.17 percent and 135,000 customers defected.
For their part, T-Mobile lost 77,000 customers; U.S. Cellular’s profits fell 60 percent; Leap Wireless’ losses expanded on rising churn; and MetroPCS saw its stock tank after its subscriber growth slowed by 73 percent.