Dual-SIM smartphone sales will reach 514 million units in 2016, increasing 19 per cent from 431 million sales expected this year and topping the half-billion mark for the first time, according to a forecast from Strategy Analytics.
This means “almost one in three of all 1.6 billion smartphones sold globally will be dual SIM models in 2016”, according to Neil Mawston, executive director of the company.
“Dual SIM is a killer feature for smartphones,” he added.
Leading smartphone vendors, including Samsung, Lenovo and Micromax, are now focusing their dual-SIM Android models in China and India, which are the largest markets for dual SIM smartphones worldwide today, according to analyst firm.
Devices with two or more SIM card slots are particularly popular in these countries because of the cost conscious customer base, added Linda Sui, director at the analyst firm.
“Dual-SIM smartphones 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,” she said.
Apple is “one notable absentee from the worldwide dual-SIM smartphone market”, it was noted. The company is now “missing out on a huge half billion unit global market”, according to senior analyst Rajeev Nair.