Smartphone shipments are expected to grow 10.4% in 2015 to 1.44 billion units, says a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC). This is lower than IDC’s previous smartphone forecast of 11.3% year-over-year growth in 2015.
It is expected to see a noticeable slowdown in smartphone shipments in 2015 as China joins North America and Western Europe in a more mature growth pattern. However, steadily falling average selling prices (ASPs) will fuel steady growth through the end of the forecast period, with global shipments reaching 1.9 billion units in 2019.
China remains the focal point of the global smartphone market in 2015, although the results haven’t been as positive as in previous years. As the largest market for smartphones – China consumed 32.3% of all new smartphone shipments in 2014 – its importance remains great even if its growth has begun to slow. Shipments are forecast to grow just 1.2% year over year in 2015, which is down from 19.7% in 2014. China will remain the largest market for smartphone volumes throughout the forecast period. However, its share of the overall market is expected to drop to 23.1% in 2019 as high-growth markets like India continue to expand.
“China clearly remains a very important market. However, the focus will be more on exports than consumption as domestic growth slows significantly,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“India has captured a lot of the attention that China previously received and it’s now the market with the most potential upside. The interesting thing to watch will be the possibility of manufacturing moving from China and Vietnam over to India. We’ve begun to see this move as a means to cut costs and capitalize on financial benefits associated with localized India manufacturing. It is the local vendors like Micromax, Lava, and Intex that will feel the most pressure from international competition within its market.”
On the device front, phablets (smartphones with 5.5″-7″ screens) will continue to drive shipment volumes in both emerging and developed markets.