Driven by an increased mix of subsidized smartphones in mature markets (e.g. US) and some emerging markets (e.g. China), we forecast global handset subsidy spend to reach US$46 billion in 2012. We believe the global average handset subsidy will maintain steady growth through 2014, but it will dip after that.
North America remains the world?s most valuable market, contributing to over half of global handset subsidy spend. Meanwhile, emerging markets like China are ramping up their activities to play a growing role in the subsidy industry.
Handset subsidies offered by operators worldwide remain volatile. Some countries are investing more in subsidies, while others are trying to spend less. How big is the global handset subsidy market today? How much subsidy does each region capture? How much subsidy share do smartphones and postpaid handsets capture? Will operator subsidies rise, plateau or fall in 2013? How will operator subsidies affect handset vendors such as Apple or component makers like Sharp?
This published report by our Wireless Device Strategies service answers those questions and more.
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