So in 2014, the Smartphone market crossed the 1 Billion mark for the first time recording a staggering 1.2 billion sales with an approximate growth of 23%, however, if Analysts at the German based GFK are to be believed the rate of growth is expected to drop down to 14% with 2015 likely to manage around 1.3 billion smartphone sales.
The reason for this should be obvious, once a person has bought a smartphone, in all probability there will be a gap before he buys the next one- smartphones not being something you could or you would want to buy everyday. 2014 saw many countries reaching their saturation point with manufacturers releasing more affordable devices. The point being that smartphone companies will have to look towards either new markets which are still catching on the smartphone trend or to that section of consumers who are looking to upgrade their phones in order to maintain their sales.
According to Kevin Walsh- Director,trend analysis at the GFK — “We forecast emerging regions to drive growth in 2015 as smartphones further penetrate lower price points, GfK forecasts that smartphone price bands above $150 will see a decline in their market share. At the next level down, $100-150, sales will remain stable, but it is the cheaper smartphones priced below this point that will gain share.”
Interestingly, recent sales trends also point out that larger screen sizes seem to be grabbing more market share, and this is expected to continue with highest sales projected for devices with screen sizes of 5 ” or more in 2015.
Considering the situation with regards to country, we find out that countries that exhibited high volume show a slow growth rate — An obvious consequence of saturation — such as China with 400 million smartphones sold concluded the 4th quarter with a flat growth rate where highly developed countries such as Japan actually recorded a decline of upto 5%. Based on the data below, manufacturers must turn to pacific countries with above 50% growth rate or to the North American continent which along with the highest sales after china, also recorded a hefty growth rate of 28%.
Platform wise, Android (as expected) steals the show hands down capturing about 57% of total sales up from 39% in Quarter 1, feature phones come second with 29% while other smartphones mainly iPhone and company stay constant with 14% of sales in the 4th Quarter.