The Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker of the International Data Corporation (IDC) has projected worldwide shipments of smartphones will maintain their positive growth through 2021. With shipment volume reaching 1.47 billion in 2016, this figure is expected to exceed 1.7 billion over the next four years. 2016 was the mobile phone market’s first single-digit growth year, which saw shipments increase by 2.5 percent since 2015.
According to IDC, the combination of new user demand and stagnant two-year replacement cycle will bolster the market to reach a five-year compound annual growth rate of 3.3 percent. The organization believes the “big inflection point” is the anticipation vendors and consumers alike have for the smartphone market to experience its first year-to-year decline. In terms of continued growth, IDC believes the two main catalysts are bringing first-time users onto a smartphone and maintaining lifecycles at or around two years.
When the 2016 year concluded, IDC estimated approximately half of the global population used a smartphone, leaving plenty of room for incorporating first-time users. Despite how highly saturated the smartphone market is in developed countries throughout North America, Europe, and East Asia, IDC is confident they’ll still see the majority of users replacing handsets roughly every two years.
The operating system market share story hasn’t changed significantly over the past few years, and recent forecasts don’t indicate much change will occur. Apple, for example, generally held 14-15 percent share and Android 85 percent with the bits and pieces spread across a few dying platforms. When using market value to analyze this particular facet based on non-subsidized device retail pricing however, it’s a different story. IDC experts expect Apple to occupy 36 percent of the device market value by 2021, a figure that should equate to roughly $180 billion. This is over half the collective value of all other Android OEMs, and that doesn’t even include revenue from services or its app ecosystem.
High-end spectrum of the smartphone market doesn’t show any signs of slowing as the average smartphone selling price is projected to increase over seven percent in 2017. Premium phablet offerings from a variety of vendors look like the main driving force behind the growth of devices with screens larger than 5.5 inches. These particular assets are projected to grow over 34 percent in 2017 across all operating systems. In addition, typical selling prices of these devices are also expected to increase up to nine percent with the arrival of ultra-premium devices like the iPhone 8, Note 8, and V30, just to mention a few.
The large screen phenomena hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down either, as phablets will comprise about 40 percent of the smartphone market by the conclusion of 2017. Over the next four years, phablets are expected to control slightly over 51 percent of the market, which proves that bigger is more often than not, more appealing to the majority of consumers.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)