A growing number of consumers in emerging markets are buying cheaper smartphones, new research from technology analysis firm Juniper suggests.

The report claims that the expensive end of the smartphone market will diminish proportionally as the new ultra-low cost segment of the market grows.

Juniper predicts annual sales of almost 200 million ultra-low cost smartphones by 2018, compared to nearly 10 million next year.

The ultra-premium - expensive - end of the market is currently dominated by Apple and Samsung. But Juniper claims that players like Xiaomi and Oppo could be set to become more dominant in emerging markets with their low cost handsets.

The report says this new generation of devices will permanently split the global market in two, with the developed high margin low volume markets on one side and low margin high volume markets on the other.