Market Overview

Global Smartphone Sales Growth Decelerating To 10% This Year; China Still Dominates


In a press release issued Tuesday, International Data Corporation (IDC) analysts Ryan Reith, Anthony Scarsella and Michael Shirer said worldwide smartphone growth is expected to slow down to 10.4 percent in 2015, down from 27.5 percent in 2014.

According to the firm’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone shipments are projected to surge to 1.44 billion units this year. This forecast implies a reduction from the previous estimate, which called for growth of 11.3 percent year-over-year.

Related Link: Global Smartphone Units Up 13.5% During Q2, But Android And China Saw Declines

The slowdown, IDC explained, will be driven by sluggish sales in China, as the Asian giant joins the group of mature markets of which North American and Western Europe are already a part.

“However, steadily falling average selling prices (ASPs) will fuel steady growth through the end of the forecast period, with global shipments reaching 1.9 billion units in 2019,” the press release said.

Still, it should be noted that China continues to be the largest market for smartphones, and is expected to continue to be for the next several years. However, its overall market share is expected to decline to 23.1 percent in 2019 (from 32.3 percent in 2014) as high-growth markets such as India continue to expand.

IDC explained that, despite the continued success of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) “with its variants of the iPhone, the story among operating systems is not expected to change throughout the forecast,” with Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s Android taking 81 percent of the market share in 2015 that will carry forward until 2019.

“Markets with the biggest growth opportunity are extremely price sensitive, which IDC believes will not change, and this is the main reason Apple will be challenged to take Android share throughout the forecast.”

The firm expects global Android shipments to surge from 1.06 billion in 2014 to 1.54 billion in 2019. For iOS, they expect shipments to grow from 192.7 million in 2014 to 269.6 million in 2019. However, IDC's view that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)’s Windows Phone will remain a "marginal challenger at best has not changed.”

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