Multimedia Mobile Phone Shipments Surpass TV Shipments in 2008, According to MultiMedia Intelligence

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — MultiMedia Intelligence reports the worldwide unit shipments of multimedia feature rich mobile phones will exceed 300 million units in 2008, outnumbering shipments of TV sets. Multimedia phones have at least 1 megapixal image capture, MP3 audio, video Playback, Java, USB, Bluetooth, 16-bit screen color, QVGA resolution, WAP and MMS. Revenue from these handsets will be over US$76 billion.

“Multimedia has become the term of the day as wireless service has expanded beyond voice to include a variety of communication, data, and entertainment services,” according to Frank Dickson, Chief Research Officer for MultiMedia Intelligence. “Voice services are suffering under increasing price pressure, forcing operators to leverage data services to sustain revenue growth and offset declining voice ARPU. Handset manufacturers are racing to meet the consumer and operator demands for increasingly feature-rich multimedia handsets, while controlling handset cost and power consumption. The result is the mobile phone has become the world’s most ubiquitous entertainment platform.”

MultiMedia Intelligence’s new research report, “Wanted: Multimedia Handsets: Consumer Desires Meet Operators ARPU Needs”, also found that:

  • Integration trends are driving silicon providers to integrate baseband and applications processors into single chips like Texas Instrument’s LoCosto platform. The trend is currently focused on low-end handsets where cost is an issue, but it will migrate to higher end handsets over the forecast period.
  • If the definition of a multimedia handset was limited to just phones with an image sensor, MP3 audio support, and video playback, 60% of handsets would have basic multimedia functionality. By 2011, almost 9 of 10 handsets would qualify.
  • Handsets are playing an increasing role in operators’ efforts to attract and retain subscribers. The major operators are demanding exclusive multimedia handsets, innovative form factors and rich multimedia features in smart phones from the major handset vendors including Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson.
  • A multitude of connectivity options have been integrated into the cellular handset including IrDA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB. Of these, only IrDA is seeing declining penetration as a percentage of handsets shipped. Bluetooth will be the most ubiquitous connectivity option in handsets, while Wi-Fi promises to have the biggest long term impact on handset usage.
  • Phones with touch screens were a “rounding error” in the market in 2006. By 2011, the number of handsets with touch screens will approach 200 million.

MultiMedia Intelligence’s new research report, “Wanted: Multimedia Handsets–Consumer Desires Meet Operators ARPU Needs” provides research, analysis and forecasts for multimedia handsets and handsets with multimedia specific features such as music phones, phones with touch screens, camera phones, mobile TV handsets, radio phones, and phones with a host of alternative connectivity options. The report begins by looking at the wireless industry trends that are driving the need for feature rich handsets. It then looks at basic multimedia handsets and their growth. It turns its attention to feature rich multimedia handsets, including the technology driving them, and unit forecasts and revenue outlook. Finally, it examines and forecasts handsets with specific multimedia features.