Smartphone accessories make more money than smartphones

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Banana PhoneHere’s a bit of a surprise, coming to us by way of our friends at Cellular-News. It seems as though smartphone accessory sales far exceed those of smartphones themselves, generating over US$32 billion in revenues in 2007, compared to approx. US$28 billion expected to come from smartphone sales this year. ABI Research, the firm that produced the report, expects the market for mobile phone accessories to grow steadily in the next five years and generate over $80 billion in revenues in 2012.

Handset vendors like Nokia and Motorola are taking advantage of this consumer trend by offering products specifically tailored to ‘mobile enhancement’ or ‘personalization’. A personal favorite around BBCool HQ is the ever-versatile Banana Phone attachment.

According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, “The number of mobile phone accessory products is expanding with new products driven by technology as well as by customer fashion and personalization needs appearing in the market. Handset vendors and mobile operators are showing greater interest as accessories provide high margins and also opportunities to promote their brand and expand their product offerings. The growing interest among mobile operators is also driven by the realization that mobile phone accessories can lead to higher ARPUs.”

Around 77% of smatphone accessory revenues come from the sales of “after-market” accessories and the remaining from “in-box” accessories shipments.