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Listen Up Smartphone Vendors, A lot of People Still Want Feature Phones

Here is another reason why Android will rule in 2011: it is the only smartphone provider to pay attention to consumers that want feature cell phones, or at least want feature cell phone price points. There are several sub-$100 handsets in the Android portfolio and while these have often been overlooked in favor of sexy and ever-faster devices, such as Verizon’s forthcoming LTE devices, new figures from Nielsen suggest it is a mistake to ignore the low end of the spectrum.

Some 31% of consumers are still opting for feature phones, MoCoNews observed. "This idea of a low-end smartphone will be key as more feature phone buyers tip into the smartphone camp," it said.

Enough to Tip the Balance

If Android were to step up its development of these devices - or if Apple or RIM were to offer similarly low priced alternatives - it may be enough to finally tip the balance definitely in either Apple’s or Google’s favor.

Right now the race is too close to call, Nielsen said. The popularity of the Android OS among those who purchased a smartphone in the last six months (40%) makes it the leading OS among recent acquirers. In terms of overall consumer market share, however, Android OS (25.8%) is still behind Apple iOS (28.6%)m, Nielsen said. As for RIM Blackberry, its share (26.1%) puts it within the margin of error of both Apple iOS and Android. In other words, RIM remains statistically tied with both Apple for first and Android for third.


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