Smartphone sales to outpace total PC shipments by more than 6 to 1 in 2018
Smartphone sales to keep on expanding in the emerging economies, while market is close to saturation in the developed world
According to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Devices Tracker published by the analyst group IDC (International Data Corporation), in 2014 the demand for smart connected devices (SCD) is expected to expand by +15.6% worldwide, up to 1,8 billion devices. Main growth engine will remain the sales of smartphones, with shipments estimated to outpace total PC shipments by more than 6 to 1 in 2018.
IDC estimates smartphone shipments will rise to 2.4 billion units by 2018. At geographical level, however, trends will be highly differentiated, with the developed markets close to saturation, while emerging economies expected to increase rapidly.
Smartphone sales in Europe and in the US are gradually decreasing their growth pace, while demand in Japan and South Korea has already peaked and should decline soon. Consumers do not feel the need to buy new handsets and the leading suppliers, such as Apple, Samsung and Nokia, are trying to enrich their offer with high-quality services and accessories such as wearable devices (the so-called smart watch).
Conversely, growth in the emerging economies is projected to remain robust. According to IDC, smartphone shipments in India, Indonesia, China, Russia and Africa will double by 2018 and China will account for almost a third of world smartphone shipments. Consumers in the emerging markets tends to opt for low-cost smartphones and, in these areas, the largest handset makers will have to face the rising competition from low-cost local suppliers.