Global Handset Market

Brown’s Bytes – Where Consumers Lead…

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

5th April 2019

First of all, a big thanks to Neil for stepping in last week… unfortunately for you all, I’m back again!!

So, a fascinating article from our friends at CCS Insight popped up recently about the state of the global mobile handset market in 2019 and it’s well worth a read – take a look at it here.

If you’re a handset manufacturer then it paints a pretty gloomy picture, but I thought it was worth calling out a few key points.

The first is that this is the total market view. As I have stated before, the smartphone market is very much consumer lead – this is simply because it is the dominant piece of the market. Enterprise follows, partly because it has no choice, but also because the users within an Enterprise expect the latest shiny tech as well.

If we focus in on Western Europe, the news is particularly gloomy – there’s been a 23% reduction in sales from 2013 to 2018. That’s an astonishing drop.

And guess what…

We’re seeing this behaviour mirrored in the Enterprise. Not that long ago, it was pretty standard to see a 2-year lifespan for a mobile device in the fleet. Anyone going beyond this was starting to sweat the asset pretty hard (aka rubbish user experience).

But things have definitely changed. I’m seeing 3-year+ lifespans more and more and actually, it’s no longer to the detriment of the user experience.

You may recall my old phone challenge earlier this year. I switched to iPhone 6S and 3 months later, well I’m still using it.


There isn’t much I’m missing out on to be honest and it works just fine.

I’ve mentioned before the drivers behind all this:

– New devices don’t really have enough draw over the old ones
– New devices are getting more expensive
– Old devices are lasting longer

This is powerful stuff and definitely means that the IT budget can potentially go further.


As always with this sort of thing, please do watch the patching. My old phone challenge only works because I have a phone that is still receiving all the updates for iOS. That keeps me secure and also keeps me up with the Jones’ on features.

Of course, that could change – iOS 13 is due later this year. Apple still support everything from a 5S upwards on iOS12, but my guess is that will probably change and if it does then an Enterprise has no choice, but to upgrade (and also tell BYOD users to do so).

We will keep you posted as this gets clearer.

In the meantime, if you need assistance with device strategy then please do get in touch.