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We caught up with Michael Disabato, managing vice president of Network and Telecom at Gartner, to get his take on the smartphone market passing the 1 billion shipped mark. He told us it demonstrates that the manufacturing infrastructure has ramped up to the point where vendors deliver high volumes with high quality.
“You don’t hear about massive recalls of broken phones or phones that are exploding. Occasionally you hear that there’s a battery problem or there’s a software bug,” Disabato said. “So the cycle of concept through engineering through prototype through production is relatively stable.”
Disabato said the milestone also demonstrates consumer preference for smartphones over feature phones. Little by little, he said, feature phone sales are declining but he doesn’t believe these devices will disappear completely from the landscape.
“Smartphones are more expensive than feature phones to make,” Disabato said. “The data plans are expensive to use. Until we get to the point where carriers realize they have to get rid of roaming charges globally it’s going to be limited in usefulness for people who travel.”