According to the recent report by Gartner, the growth of global smartphone sales will slow down in the upcoming days. It predicts the sales to grow by 7% in 2016 to reach 1.5 billion units, down from 14.4% last year. In 2020, smartphone sales are on pace to total 1.9 billion units.
Gartner finds the smartphone market to be matured with countries in North America, Western Europe, Japan and mature Asia/Pacific, slowing future growth. It seems people are less likely to replace their smartphones than in the previous years.
“The smartphone market will no longer grow at the levels it has reached over the last seven years. Smartphone sales recorded their highest growth in 2010, reaching 73 percent,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.
“In the mature markets, premium phone users are extending life cycles to 2.5 years, which is not going to change drastically over the next five years,” said Mr. Gupta.
However, Gartner finds India and China as prospective markets. “Sales of feature phones totaled 167 million units in 2015, 61 percent of total mobile phone sales in India,’ Mr. Gupta said. According to the report, India is expected to get estimate sales of 139 million smartphones in 2016, registering a growth of 29.5% y-o-y. The average selling price of mobile phones in India remains under $70 and smartphones under $120. This makes the phones more affordable for the users.
China witnessed a more flat sale in 2015. Sales of smartphones in China represented 95% of total mobile phone sales in 2015. The falling average selling price of mobile phones in China will make it more popular among the crowd.
“The worldwide smartphone market remains complex and competitive for all mobile phone vendors, and we are not expecting the vendor landscape to get smaller,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. “In such a fluid vendor landscape, some will exit the market while newcomers, including mobile manufacturers or internet service providers from China and India, could make their debut.”
“Chinese internet companies are increasingly investing in mobile device hardware development, platforms and distribution as they aim to grow their user bases and increase user loyalty and engagement,” concluded Ms. Zimmermann.