As we at SureTax® focus on telecom tax and VoIP tax, we can’t help but a little distracted by the new hardware. The new Kindles have just been released (not a smartphone, but 3G and 4G enabled) and the new iPhone 5 debuts tomorrow.
So, how is the handset market? Handset shipments had grown at a compounded annual growth rate of over 15% between 2009-2011. Over 2 billion handsets will be shipped in 2015. The primary driver of demand has been new smartphones, like the iPhone and Droid phones. Even in the most remote corners of the planet, it’s not enough just to talk any more.
Worldwide, global mobile penetration is 91%. The implications of bringing mobile communications and data access to everyone on the planet are astounding.
Smartphones have driven that penetration, taking Western Europe and North America to OVER 100% in some markets. Asia Pacific and Africa are still growing at over 9% per year.
What does that mean in terms of opportunity? As subscriber growth mirrors population growth, the opportunity is in the replacement handset market and providing services to the users on the platform. Give some thought as to what services could be provided if everyone in the world had a smartphone. By “if”, we mean “when” because that day is coming.
While you do that, we’ll think about who’s going to impose the telecom taxes and how we’ll provide the tax calculation piece of the equation.