Smartphone shipment growth to slow by 2017

Smartphone shipment growth to slow by 2017

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Feb. 28, 2014

The seemingly unstoppable growth of global smartphone shipments is expected to slow down considerably by 2017, new forecasts by the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggest.

According to the IDC's most recent look at future smartphone shipments, annual growth is expected to drop to 8.3 percent in 2017 and 6.2 percent in 2018.

In comparison, last year's year-over-year (YOY) growth reached 39.2 percent, with more than 1 billion units shipped during 2013.

Estimates for 2014 shipments anticipate 19.3 percent YOY growth.

While mature markets in North America and Europe are already expected to drop to single-digit growth in 2014, IDC anticipates emerging markets will continue to present an opportunity for device makers and vendors – as long as they're willing to drop their prices.

"In order to reach the untapped demand within emerging markets, carriers and original equipment manufacturers will need to work together to bring prices down," says Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. While declining price points will tighten profit margins, the average smartphone selling price is expected to go from $335 in 2013 to $260 in 2018.

Android is expected to "maintain its reign" as the leader among the platform pack, while Apple's iOS, bolstered by strong performance in mature markets, "will remain the clear number two platform." The Windows platform could stand to grow the most between now and 2018, with 2018 Windows shipment volumes of 121.8 million units expected to more than double the platform's 2014 shipment volumes of 47 million units.

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