Cost-Conscious Mobile Users To Drive Dual-SIM Smartphone Growth

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Researchers say demand from developing markets will grow market for dual-SIM devices to 514m units by 2016

Your next smartphone is more than likely to offer the ability to support multiple SIM cards, as number of dual-SIM devices skyrockets, new figures have revealed.

A report from analyst firm Strategy Analytics estimates that around 514 million dual-SIM smartphones will be in circulation by next year as nearly one in three of all 1.6 billion smartphones sold globally will be dual-SIM models in 2016.

Around 431 million are expected to ship this year, meaning a pretty healthy 19 percent growth is anticipated as demand from developing markets pushes the number of devices to new highs.

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Set of color SIM cardsDemand from markets such as China and India is predicted to be the major factor behind this growth, where customers often use multiple SIM cards in an attempt to deal with the often spotty reception.

Local manufacturers have been noting this trend for some time, and now it is time for the industry’s heavyweights to take advantage, Strategy Analytics predicts.

“Dual-SIM smartphones with two or more SIM card slots, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 Duos, are wildly popular in cost-conscious markets,” said Strategy Analytics director Linda Sui. “Dual-SIM smartphones are popular in China and India because they allow consumers to select the cheapest tariff rates for voice or data plans, as well as access better cellular coverage without roaming charges, while removing the extra cost of owning multiple handsets for personal or business communications.”

Apple is probably the most notable absentee from the dual-SIM market, as the company’s devices do not yet support the technology.

However the company is reportedly leading the way in attempts to abolish the SIM card. Last week, it emerged Apple was among several device manufacturers working with mobile industry GSMA industry body to introduce ‘e-SIM’ cards. These will be embedded directly into a mobile device and can then be quickly reprogrammed to work with any applicable mobile operators around the world.

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