The Strategist

IDC predicts stagnation in the smartphone market

11/30/2016 - 13:12

Global smartphone shipments in 2016 are likely to rise by 0.6% after 10.4% - jump in 2015. Only a few years ago, in 2012, the growth rate was 47%, says new report of research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). At that, sales are expected to set a new record of around 1.45 billion units.

Growth will persist in some regions of China, India, Indonesia and other developing countries, as new users buy cheap smart phones and switch to faster 4G technology. IDC estimates that in 2016 global sales of smart phones with support for 4G will grow by 21.3%, to 1.17 billion.

Upturn in emerging markets, however, is reduced virtually to zero thanks to decrease in mature markets, including the United States, which account for 11.4% of global sales. This the world’s second market after Asia-Pacific region.

Android will be the only operating system for smartphones to show sales growth in the current year. It is assumed that number of devices based on this OS will increase by 5.2%, to 1.2 billion, including through launch of new Google’s Pixel phones.

Sales of iPhone, whose iOS is the second-popular operating system for mobile devices, is expected to decline by 11%, to 206 million units, despite iPhone 7’s market launch in September.

According to IDC forecasts, Microsoft Smartphones’ shipments will fall by 79%.

Earlier, Pew Research Center in its study for 2015 reported that 68% of adult population in developed economies have smartphones. As for developing countries, the figure is almost twice less (37%), but the gap is narrowing rapidly.

The current market leader is Apple. According to Strategy Analytics, all suppliers of "smart" mobile devices in the period from July to September, inclusive, received about $ 9.4 billion in operating profit. Of them, $ 8.5 billion, or approximately 91% of the total sum, went to Apple’s pocket.

The Cupertino giant is followed by three Chinese manufacturer - Huawei, Vivo and OPPO. They received 2.4%, 2.2% and 2.2% of total operating profit, respectively.

Against this background, reduction in share of iOS-devices on the market seems absurd, yet statistics does not lie. In the last quarter, iPhone accounted for 12.1% of total smartphones shipments, which is less by 1.5% than in the same period last year. In this regard, Android-based smartphones are doing well. Their share for the year increased from 84.1% to 87.5%.

Interestingly, South Korean company Samsung, the world's largest supplier of smartphones in quantitative terms, didn’t get into Strategy Analytics’ rating. Obviously, this situation is partly obliged to total failure of Galaxy Note 7. Because of explosions, all these devices have been recalled.

In the third quarter, worldwide end users have purchased about 373.3 million "smart" mobile devices. This is 5.4% more compared to the third quarter of 2015, when the market volume was estimated at 354.2 million units.