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Smartphone accessories worth $20 billion

Smartphones drive half of mobile accessory revenue

It’s not just Apple, Samsung and HTC making money from the burgeoning smartphone market. The mobile accessories sector is booming, too – and not just for the new iPad.

Smartphones will drive $20 billion in aftermarket accessory revenues in 2012, accounting for more than half of the $36 billion that all aftermarket handset accessories will produce – according to ABI Research.

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By 2017, smartphone accessories will grow to $38 billion in revenues, says ABI, while non-smart feature phone accessory revenues decline to $12 billion.

“The increasing penetration of smartphones is driving a more ubiquitous digital consumer who expects the data capabilities of the smartphone to be available in any device with which the smartphone interacts,” says Michael Morgan, senior analyst, mobile devices.

Feature phone consumers will spend an average of $28.17 on accessories per device, while smartphone owners will spend $56.18 on accessories per device. 

The difference in spending is driven by a combination of consumers spending more per accessory and purchasing more accessories for smartphones as compared to feature phone owners.

Smart accessories do not represent a unique segment, but are the results of accessory OEMs adapting traditional accessory value propositions to a new data-centric usage paradigm. 

Consumers continue to use accessories as they always have, but increasing capabilities and expectations of consumers and their devices are changing the way accessories are designed.

“To address this shift in consumer behaviour, accessories must focus on delivering tighter integration with smartphone functionality and features offering a more intelligent accessory product or smart accessory,” says ABI’s Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director, mobile devices.


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