Smartphone Growth Slower Than Expected in 2015 as China Ebbs
China is the epicenter of the smartphone market so as that region goes so goes the overall segment.
According to researcher IDC, the epicenter’s fault line is showing–smartphone shipments will grow only 10.4 percent this year to 1.44 billion units, stunted largely by a stark slowing in the China market.
IDC pared its 2015 smartphone shipment forecast from its earlier projection of 11.3 percent year-over-year growth based on China lining up with North America and Western Europe as mature segments with slower growth rates. Falling average selling prices (ASPs) will fuel the market through 2019, IDC said, to some 1.9 billion units.
By 2019, shipments of Android-based smartphones are forecast to reach 1.54 billion units from the 1.06 billion recorded in 2014, while iOS shipments will hit 269.6 million from 192.7 million in 2014, IDC said. The researcher does not believe Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile will become a contender anytime soon.
Ryan Reith, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker program director, said with China approaching saturation, the India market now is the one to watch.
“China clearly remains a very important market. However, the focus will be more on exports than consumption as domestic growth slows significantly,” said Reith.
“India has captured a lot of the attention that China previously received and it’s now the market with the most potential upside,” he said. “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.”
Smartphones sporting larger displays are expected to dominate the market for the next five years, with handsets featuring screen sizes ranging from 5.5-inches to 6-inches forecast to grow 84 percent in 2015 compared to last year, IDC said.
By 2019, mobile devices with displays of 5-inches to 7-inches will dominate the market with 71 percent of all shipments, the researcher said.