Recent data collected by Nomura Equity Research suggests that low-end smartphones utilizing Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android technology will soon dominate the market, causing non-Android brands like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) to suffer.
The research estimated that smartphone unit sales will rise to 954 million, and cheaper Android phones will be driving the growth, specifically phones priced under $100. Prices on Android phones are expected to continue falling, leaving Apple unable to compete.
The research institute’s Stuart Jeffrey commented on Apple’s plight. “Apple’s position seems unlikely to improve on new product launches,” he said. “A cheaper iPhone still looks likely to cost $400, which we believe is too expensive to boost Apple’s addressable market.” He went on to say, ”The drivers of our higher growth estimates are ones to which Apple appears to have no exposure, at least not currently.” Jeffrey gave Apple stock a neutral rating, estimating $171.68 billion in revenue and $39.51 per share in profit for Apple this year.
While BlackBerry has seen some success in foreign markets, Jeffrey doesn’t believe that will continue in the face of “good enough” Android phones costing under $100 that will soon flood key markets in Asia. Jeffrey also rated BlackBerry’s stock as Neutral.
Nokia was predicted to suffer from falls in feature phone sales as smartphones continue to dominate the market. “With a leading 23 percent feature phone market share and just 2.8 percent smartphone market share, Nokia is most affected by this shift to smartphones. We cut our feature phone revenue forecasts for Nokia by 5 percent for 2013 and 30 percent in 2015, yet see no reason to raise our smartphone estimates in compensation,” Jeffrey said. Overall, he predicted feature phone sales would fall from previous estimates of 977 million units down to 816 million.
According to this research, Apple and other non-Android smartphone makers will lose out on the area of the market predicted to show the biggest growth in the coming years.