Some interesting observations from Asymco’s Horace Dediu who used data published by Deutsche Bank and the ITU to put into perspective the world’s pre-paid users who buy contract-free $700-$1000 handsets for use with pay-as-you-go plans against post-paid subscribers who get the latest and greatest devices subsidized for up to $200 provided they pledge to a lengthy 12-24 months wireless contract:
Roughly 1.5 billion are post-paid and 3.7 billion are pre-paid. That means that nearly 70% of the world is not being addressed by theas it currently stands. Put another way, a shift in positioning might result in a 250% increase in addressable market.
The regional breakdown tells a similar story (below).will eventually fill 100 percent of key post-paid (blue areas) addressable markets through the virtue of the expansion of carrier agreements. For example, half the US and Canada area being finally filled in this year. What about pre-paid orange areas?
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber sums it up nicely:
Examine the history of the iPod to see how this will play out. They’ll press technologically at the high end, and they’ll expand into the mid-range market with lower priced models. Why not now?