The slowdown in global smartphone growth is upon us. That’s according to the latest research and corresponding projections from IDC.
Based on report details shared with MMW, the analysts and researchers behind the published projection indicate that smartphone penetration has ballooned so much and so fast across the global landscape that a slowdown in this market’s growth is neither bad nor unexpected.
Nonetheless, worldwide smartphone shipments will slow to 8.3% annual growth in 2017 and 6.2% in 2018.
Annual smartphone volume in 2013 surpassed 1 billion units for the first time, accounting for 39.2% growth over 2012. In the coming year, IDC expects mature markets like North America and Europe to drop to single digits, and Japan might contract slightly.
Despite the high growth expected in many emerging markets, 2014 will mark the year smartphone growth drops more significantly than ever before. 2014 volumes are expected to be 1.2 billion, up from 1 billion in 2013, representing 19.3% year-over-year growth.
“In North America we see more than 200 million smartphones in active use, not to mention the number of feature phones still being used,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “2014 will be an enormous transition year for the smartphone market. Not only will growth decline more than ever before, but the driving forces behind smartphone adoption are changing. New markets for growth bring different rules to play by and ‘premium’ will not be a major factor in the regions driving overall market growth.”