Confirming that the smartphone segment is going through an exciting phase, IDC, a global research provider, is predicting that the global smartphone shipments are expected to surpass 1bn units in 2013, representing 39.3% growth over 2012, according to its recently published mobile phone forecast.
IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reveals that despite a number of mature markets nearing smartphone saturation, the demand for low-cost computing in emerging markets is moving this category further ahead and will continue to drive smartphone intake towards greener pastures.
According to IDC, by 2017, total smartphone shipments are expected to approach 1.7bn units, resulting in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4% from 2013 to 2017.
Driving this ahead, a number of trends co-exist in the global smartphone market, but none have more of an affect on driving market growth than the steady decline in average selling prices (ASPs). Interestingly, Android has enabled a number of new manufacturers to enter the smartphone market supported by a variety of turnkey processing solutions. Many of these handset vendors have focused on low-cost devices as a way to build brand awareness as well.
In 2013, IDC expects smartphone ASPs to be $337, down 12.8% from $387 in 2012. This trend will continue in the years to come and IDC expects smartphone ASPs to gradually drop to $265 by 2017.
“The game has changed quite drastically due to the decline in smartphone ASPs,” said Ryan Reith, programme director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“Just a few years back the industry was talking about the next billion people to connect, and it was assumed the majority of these people would do so by way of the feature phone. Given the trajectory of ASPs, smartphones are now a very realistic option to connect those billion users.”
From a price perspective, ASPs in these same emerging markets will post single-digit CAGR declines from 2013 to 2017, led by Asia-Pacific. This will enable more users to afford smartphones for the first time, and in many cases, allow users to bypass purchasing feature phones altogether and go straight to smartphones.
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