Smartphone Accessories: The money-makers

As the number of smartphone users continues to grow rapidly across the globe, more manufacturers are starting to turn their attention to creating innovative mobile accessories to make their wares stand out from the hugely competitive market.

Smartphone accessories are no longer limited to protecting handsets and there’s a wealth of items on sale. Accessories can now do everything from expressing one’s identity and fashion to extending all the functions and values of a mobile phone beyond their usual realms.

Michael Morgan, an ABI Research analyst, said in a recent report:

“The increasing penetration of smartphones is driving a shift in accessory design toward smart accessories that drive higher levels of consumer interaction, product value and brand recognition.

For new market entrants, developing brand recognition is paramount in capturing market share…this is best accomplished by the development of engaging innovative accessories.”

Phone vendors like Samsung and Apple, which boast a range of Galaxy and iPhone 5 deals respectively, are quickly realising the potential of the accessory market. Accessories not only contribute to increasing sales, but they also expand product portfolios, differentiate one company’s creations from its competitors, as well as helping to extend the product lifecycles of high-end handsets.

‘Smart’ accessories.

As manufacturers look to increase their presence in the accessory arena they are taking things one step further, and a new wave of wearable technology is now also starting to hit the market.

Devices like smart glasses, smartwatches and smart clothing are looking to be the next big thing in consumer electronics. We’ve already seen smartwatches from the likes of Sony and Pebble but the idea hasn’t caught on with much enthusiasm – until now.

Samsung has recently confirmed that it will be launching the Galaxy Gear smartwatch during technology tradeshow IFA 2013 in Berlin, next month. As a leading name in the smartphone space it’s highly likely that the company’s strong brand will help carry this concept through to the masses.

Nitin Bhas, an analyst at Juniper Research, said: “By educating and publicising this device segment to the consumer, Apple and Samsung will indeed act as a catalyst to the market.

“In addition, these players’ entry into the smartwatch segment will benefit existing smartwatch players providing an increase in awareness and adoption of other wearable devices.”

Profitable products.

A recent report by Juniper Research found that by 2018 36 million app-enabled smartwatches will be sold globally every year, compared to one million this year. Similarly ABI Research predicts that mobile accessories will continue to rise in popularity and by 2017 it predicts smartphone owners worldwide will spend roughly $38bn in this space alone.

There’s no doubt mobile accessories make for a hugely lucrative market, especially as big name brands continue to introduce new products that enhance and build on the innovations found in their high-end contract phones.

When it comes to smartphone accessories, the options available today are endless and with the concept of the smartwatch now catching on, there’s even greater potential for growth over the coming years.

As mobile technology becomes more advanced so will everything that goes with it, and as companies strive to be the best in the business, mobile users will only continue to reap the benefits that the accessory and mobile markets bring.

This guest post was written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest smartphone deals.