SmartPhone adoption is experiencing positive feedback growth as media buzz and user experiences shared with friends increase demand. When telephone contracts last 1 or 2 years, people must question whether they want to be locked out of the market with their next mobile phone.
Honestly I don't see how some of the handset vendors continue to stay in business... it is largely the carriers that are making money and the handset makers are seeing big losses:
Some of the marketing models now common in Asian countries (like life time incoming calls free and no expiry date on prepaid phones with no currency left!) will have to change for smartphone usage. This will be a tough sell.
A decent/easy to use smartphone with a 50-80$ price tag will speed up the adoption. I have tried some of the current 100-150$ smart phones from Asian vendors and they are not impressive in user experience. The user in the lower segment need a much more simpler UI than the expensive phones and not just cheap HW with stock Android slapped on to it.
In my opinion, this is not really a big surprise. We've seen the popularity of smartphones go through the roof and stay there. Perhaps the one thing that fewer people saw coming were the price declines and the rise of low-end smartphones, making it more realistic for people in developing countries.
At the same time, there are still people that believe the feature phone has legs.