Smartphone growth still strong, driven by emerging markets

IDC projects 1.25bn in shipments for 2014; forecasts 1.8bn for 2018

Tags: International Data Corporation
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Smartphone growth still strong, driven by emerging markets
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 31, 2014

More than 1.25bn smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014, representing a 23.8% increase from the 1.01bn units shipped in 2013, according to the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Total volumes are forecast to reach 1.8bn units in 2018, resulting in a 12.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2013-2018 forecast period.

Emerging markets have accounted for more than 50% of annual smartphone shipments since 2011, according to IDC, but up until 2014, mature markets have still delivered double-digit, year-on-year growth. In 2014, IDC expects mature markets will slow to just 4.9% growth, with emerging markets continuing to climb, at 32.4%, pushing the total market up 23.8%.

"The smartphone market, which has experienced runaway growth over the last several years, is starting to slow," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

"Mature markets have slowed considerably but still deliver strong revenues with average selling prices [ASP] over $400. Meanwhile, many emerging markets are still barrelling along, but with ASPs of less than $250... The key for vendors now is to maintain a presence in the higher-margin mature markets, while establishing a sustainable presence within the fast-growing emerging markets. To enable this strategy, operating system companies are partnering with OEMs to provide low-cost handsets."

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