Market Overview

With Expectations of a Positive Second Half of 2018 and Beyond, Smartphone Volumes Poised to Return to Growth, According to IDC


While the worldwide smartphone market is expected to decline again in
2018, IDC believes the market will experience low single-digit growth
from 2019 through the end of its forecast in 2022. The International
Data Corporation (IDC)
Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker
forecasts worldwide smartphone
shipments to decline 0.7% in 2018 to 1.455 billion units, down from
1.465 billion in 2017. However, IDC believes the market will return to
positive growth in the second half of 2018 with volumes up 1.1% compared
to the second half of 2017. In the long-term forecast, IDC expects the
overall smartphone market to reach 1.646 billion units shipped in 2022.

Overall, the global smartphone market is healthy and has plenty of
upside, which is noted by the return to growth in the forecast. When
breaking down the growth by device type, it is clear that large-screen
smartphones (5.5 inch and larger) will lead the charge with volumes of
941.6 million in 2018, accounting for 64.7% of all smartphones, up from
623.2 million units in 2017 and 42.5% share. By 2022, shipments of these
larger screen smartphones will jump to 1.391 billion units, or 84.5% of
overall shipment volume.

The industry is experiencing a shift toward higher aspect ratios, at or
near 18:9, which require a larger screen to support the widescreen
viewing angle. While the 18:x aspect ratio started with flagship and
higher-end devices in 2017, it began to appear in lower priced devices
in 2018, including some sub-$200 handsets. By Q2 2018, 16:9 smartphones
were overtaken by 17.5:9 aspect ratios (or higher) for the first time.
As Chinese brands, such as Huawei, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi, expand their
international presence, it is likely the focus on large screens and
aspect ratios remains a focus across their entire portfolio. The
anticipation of the new iPhone models this fall, two of which IDC
believes will be above 6 inches and available for shipment in the second
half of 2018, will act as another catalyst toward driving these
important display trends.

"With two out of three new iPhones expected to be larger than 6 inches,
Apple will not be left behind in the 2018 race for increased screen real
estate," said Melissa
, associate research director with IDC's Worldwide
Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers
. "You could say the term 'phablet'
is becoming less relevant now that most smartphones will ship with
larger screens, and when folding screens start coming into play in the
medium term, this screen trend will evolve in new directions."

From a geographic perspective, the China market is finally showing signs
of recovery and while IDC still expects the largest market in the world
to be down 6.3% in 2018 (slightly worse than the 2017 downturn), that is
mainly attributed to an extremely poor first half, which saw smartphone
volumes down 11%. The second half is expected to improve to a decline of
2% before returning to positive growth in 2019. Asia/Pacific as a region
still holds plenty of market growth led by India and Indonesia, which
are expected to grow shipments in 2018 by 14.4% and 15.4% respectively.

"We still believe the smartphone market has some healthy growth in the
years to come, although finding and competing in those markets and
segments is increasingly more challenging," said Ryan
, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide
Mobile Device Trackers
. "With the US-China trade tariffs changing
and unfolding daily it is hard to pinpoint what the exact impact on the
market will be, but for the time being OEMs are pushing forward with
important initiatives that include the previously mentioned traction
around bigger and better displays. But the industry also has 5G knocking
at its doors, and many OEMs, retailers, telcos, and supply chain
partners will be working diligently to ensure consumers see the need to
upgrade when products and services are readily available."

Platform Highlights

Android: Android's smartphone share will hover around 85% share
throughout the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year
CAGR of 2.4%, with shipments approaching 1.41 billion in 2022. Among the
more interesting trends happening with Android shipments is that average
selling prices (ASPs) are growing at a double-digit pace. IDC expects
Android ASPs to grow 11.4% in 2018 to $262, up from $235 in 2017. IDC
expects this upward trajectory to continue through the forecast, but at
a more tempered low single-digit rate from 2019 and beyond. This is a
sign of many OEMs slowly migrating their user base upstream to the
slightly more expensive handsets. Overall this is a positive sign that
consumers are seeing the benefits of moving to a slightly more premium
device than they likely previously owned. The broad range of colors,
screen sizes, features, and brands are a large catalyst for this

iOS: iPhone volumes are expected to grow by 2.1% in 2018 to 220.4
million in total. IDC is forecasting iPhones to grow at a five-year CAGR
of 2.0%, reaching volumes of 238.5 million by 2022. With larger screen
iOS smartphones coming up for launch in the second half of 2018, IDC has
shifted greater volumes into the 6-inch to sub-7-inch screen size
forecast for iOS. Products are on schedule to begin shipping in the
third quarter and ramping up into the fourth quarter of 2018, with
volumes growing to account for half of all iPhones shipped by 2022.


Worldwide Smartphone Platform Shipments, Market Share, and
5-Year CAGR, 2018 and 2022

(shipments in millions)






2018 Year-






2022 Year-



Android   1,233.7   84.8%   -1.1%   1,406.9   85.5%   2.3%   2.4%
iOS   220.4   15.1%   2.1%   238.5   14.5%   1.7%   2.0%
Others   0.8   0.1%   -66.2%   1.0   0.1%   7.7%   -15.7%
Total   1,454.8   100.0%   -0.7%   1,646.4   100.0%   2.2%   2.4%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, August 29, 2018

* Table Note: 2018 and 2022 figures are forecast projections.

In addition to the table above, a graphic illustrating worldwide
smartphone shipments by screen size over the 2017-2022 forecast period
is available by viewing this press release on

About IDC Trackers
products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor
share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than
100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research
processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and
monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly
excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone
Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that
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