Global smartphone growth to slow down in 2015

Graph - Going upThe latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report is out and it shows that global smartphone growth is expected to growth at a much slower rate in 2015 than last year. The overall market will still grow 11.3% this year but this is a marked drop from the 27.6% growth seen in 2014.

2015 will also be a notable year as China’s smartphone growth will for the first time grow more slowly than the global rate. Overall Android growth is expected to show a similar trend as well.

IDC expects that smartphone shipments to continue to grow over the next few years. While rates may slow down as more markets hit maturity and saturation, the firm still expects that 1.9 billion smartphones will ship in 2019 alone.

“Smartphone volume still has a lot of opportunity in the years to come, but two fundamental segments driving recent years’ growth are starting to slow,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “As reported earlier in May, smartphone shipments in China actually declined year over year in the first quarter of 2015, showing that the largest market in the world has reached a level of maturity where rapid growth will be harder to achieve. This has implications for Android because China has been a critical market for Android smartphone shipments in recent years, accounting for 36% of total volume in 2014. As Chinese OEMs shift their focus from the domestic market to the next high-growth markets, they will face a number of challenges, including competition from ‘local’ brands.”

While Android growth is expected to slow down, IDC predicts that Apple iPhone shipments will continue to outpace worldwide rates. Shipments are expected to jump 23% this year alone and will hit almost 275 million by 2019. The only thing likely to hold Apple back is the price difference between Android and iOS devices.

Windows Phone (or Windows 10 Mobile as the next version will be called) will firmly establish itself in third place but numbers will pale in comparison to those of Android and iOS. It is expected to crack the 100 million unit shipment mark in 2019.

Shipments of smartphones powered by other operating systems is expected to hit about 26.3 million units by 2019. This suggests that BlackBerry, Tizen and other operating systems will be fighting for scraps rather than establishing themselves as credible alternatives.

Source : IDC