Microsoft could see growth in mobile device market

Smartphones now have similar capabilities to that of personal computers.

It's becoming apparent that smartphones are the top choice among mobile users so the recent deal between Microsoft and Nokia could prove to be a clever move by the technology giant.

At the start of September, it was agreed that Microsoft would buy out Nokia's mobile business for €5.4 billion (£4.6 billion). Microsoft will also be gaining the licenses of Nokia's patents and mapping services.

This move could potentially see Microsoft expanding its reach further as more people are turn to their smartphones over personal computers; while these devices have similar capabilities, the former is more portable. It's because of how much more you can do with smartphones that users are turning to these devices over traditional feature phones.

Recently, for the first time, smartphones outsold basic feature phone handsets. Gartner reported that in the second quarter of 2013 smartphone sales grew by 46.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2012. This growth has resulted in smartphone sales outpacing those of feature phones. In fact, feature phone sales declined by 21 per cent year on year.

Principal research analyst at Gartner Anshul Gupta said: "Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time."

He suspects that this rising trend towards smartphones will continue to grow through the rest of the year: "Flagship devices brought to market in time for the holidays, and the continued price reduction of smartphones will drive consumer adoption in the second half of the year."

However, Mr Gupta's predictions will be narrowly missed by Microsoft as its transaction with Nokia is not due to close until sometime during the first quarter of 2014 as it awaits approval from regulators and Nokia's shareholders.

It may be wise to wait until Gartner releases its third quarter results to see how Microsoft's expansion within the smartphone market will pan out. But looking at the success of the brand so far, coupled with the popularity of smartphones, it can be expected that the deal will work in the technology giant's favour.