Market research agency IDC said smartphone shipments in 2014 will grow 19.3 percent year-over-year to 1.2 billion from 1 billion in 2013.
The double digit growth in smartphone shipment is despite main vendors — Samsung, Nokia, Sony, LG, BlackBerry, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, etc. announcing several premium, mid-priced and low-end smartphones at the Mobile World Congress 2014 at Barcelona, Spain.
While Samsung focused on Samsung S5, its premium phone, BlackBerry said it will launch $200 smartphone for Indonesia. Sony added Xperia Z2 smartphone and tablets.
LG announced its 4G phone, Huawei brought in premium smartphone. Some of these vendors also focused on smart wearables to boost revenue streams.
Future growth is going to face slow down, says IDC. Worldwide smartphone shipments growth will be 8.3 percent in 2017 and 6.2 percent in 2018.
Annual smartphone volume in 2013 surpassed 1 billion units for the first time, accounting for 39.2 percent growth over 2012.
In the coming year, IDC expects mature markets like North America and Europe to drop to single digits, and Japan might contract slightly. Despite the high growth expected in many emerging markets, 2014 will mark the year smartphone growth drops more significantly than ever before.
“In North America we see more than 200 million smartphones in active use, not to mention the number of feature phones still being used,” said Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
IDC predicts that 2014 will be an enormous transition year for the smartphone market.
Worldwide smartphone average selling price (ASP) was $335 in 2013, and is expected to drop to $260 by 2018.
Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team, said: “Last year we saw a total of 322.5 million smartphone units ship for under $150 and that number will continue to grow going forward. We’ve already seen numerous smartphone announcements targeting this priceband this year, with some as low as $25.”
“Just as the dynamics have changed for overall smartphone growth, so have the dynamics for smartphone pricing in the markets where continued growth is expected. Not all vendors will want to get into this space, but those that do must make deliberate choices about their strategies in order to succeed,” Llamas added.
Indian smartphone market
Meanwhile, CMR today said India recorded 247.2 million mobile handset shipments in 2013. During the same period, 41.1 million smartphones were shipped in the country.
65.8 percent of the total smartphones shipped in the country were 3G smartphones in 2013.
Nearly 70 vendors operated in the India smartphones market in 2013. Brands like Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, HTC, LG and Blackberry captured close to 53 percent of the total smartphones market, followed by India brands with 43 percent.
Pix source: WSJ