Mobile phones have now become a tool with which political parties can directly target voters. People with smartphones can now receive video advertisements and messages via the internet. According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (2012), 83% of Americans who own a smartphone or tablet are registered to vote. This new gimmick is called “m-campaigning” and is currently most common in America. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both using this as a medium for their campaigns. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy set up a Twitter account to help him in his re-election bid. This shows the growing importance appreciation of mobile phones by politians. There is potential here for some companies to use this strength as a bargaining tool with governments and potentially charge political parties to have built in apps on the phones. (Economic Intelligence Unit, 2012)
“Thanks to location-tracking, potential supporters may receive an automated message urging them to drop in just as they are passing a voter-registration office, or to turn up to a nearby rally” (EIU, 2012)
The mobile phone market in Africa is one which is heavily affected by politics. The more unstable a country is the more the economy is constrained. This has a negative effect on imports going into these countries. Africa has a history of political instability and coups. According to AfricaGoodNews.com the last few decades have seen a huge decline in the number of war torn countries. The number of countries in Africa considered completely(11) and partially(34) free today has risen tremendously since 1972(3 and 10 respectively). These figures suggest that, from a political point of view at the very least, Africa has turned a major corner. A new more stable standard of life looms over the horizon. This may signal a new era of stability in the continent. (AfricaGoodNews.com)
According to Techwireasia.com China is the biggest telephone market in the world. They boast over 1 billion mobile phone subscribers. However political factors have a huge influence on the market. The three biggest players in the market China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom are majority-owned by the Government. This can be a potential oportunity or threat. It can be an opportunity as long term agreements with these providers can cement a companies place in the market and provide a platform for further growth. On the other hand these companies in the next few years may begin to promote and seek to make deals with China based manufucturers and slowly dilute the market share of the market leaders. (Techwireasia.com, 2012)
The global smartphone market is quite an competitive market. Across the globe people are paying high prices for these products. In Ireland the prices for the top three phones on the market are the HTC One X (€519.99), the Samsung Galaxy SIII (€569.00) and the iPhone 5(€579.99) (Carphone Warehouse, 2012). These phones are in excess of €500 to buy which is expensive to the average person. At such a high price, such goods are very sensitive to a customer’s economic situation. We will look now at such economic indicators which could influence sales in this industry.
The growth of an economy can be measured by its Gross Domestic Product(GDP). According to figures released by Trading Economics (2012) the GNP in the Euro area is -0.4%. This figure represents the effect of the financial and economic crisis Europe now finds itself in. European countries like Italy(-2.6%), Greece(-6.3%), Portugal(-3.3%) and Spain(-1%) are all in recession. Other countries which have a positive GDP are experiencing very slow growth like Germany(0.5%), France(0.25%) and Austria(0.2%). The smartphone industry will suffer in Europe due to these figures and sales growth will be slowed significantly.
These figures can be used to highlight countries and regions where economic growth is strong. It is shown in tables 2,3 and...