Smartphones bloom in emerging markets

 ·15 Jun 2013
Smartphones Feature phones

Global smartphone shipments are expected to reach 958.8 million units in 2013, surpassing feature phone shipments for the first time, the IDC says.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphones are expected to account for 52.2% of all mobile phones shipped in 2013.

The firm expects the trend to continue, with smartphone shipments growing most rapidly in emerging markets, which will account for 64.8% of units shipped in 2013.

Driving smartphones forward has been a perfect combination of strong demand from end users, greater emphasis by both carriers and vendors, and a deep selection of devices available at multiple price points, the IDC said.

“2013 will mark a watershed year for smartphones,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Mobile Phones program.

“If you look at the number of vendors who support both feature phones and smartphones, many of them have not only successfully transitioned their product portfolios to highlight smartphones, but smartphones have become their primary value proposition going forward.”

“In some cases, smartphones have accounted for well over 50% of their quarterly shipment volume. Looking ahead, we expect the gulf between smartphones and features phones to grow ever wider.”

Market 2013 YoY Growth
2017 YoY Growth
2013-2017 CAGR
2013 Market share 2017 Market share
Emerging 45.4% 12.5% 15.7% 64.8% 70.6%
Developed 14.3% 4.6% 8.3% 35.2% 29.4%
Total 32.7% 10.1% 13.3% 100.0% 100.0%

Forecast data | CAGR = Compound Annual Growth Rate

Prices coming down

With the rise in global smartphone shipments, demand has quickly spread from developed markets to emerging markets, the IDC said.

As a result, smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have declined to $372 in 2013, down from $407 in 2012 and $443 in 2011.

As this trend continues, smartphone ASPs are expected to drop as low as $309 by 2017 with emerging market demand the main catalyst in this change.

“Smartphones have become increasingly common in emerging markets and it is often the first affordable means of computing for these markets,” said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers.

“These are markets where average personal income is far less than in developed markets, and therefore vendors have been forced to create smartphone computing experiences for the low end of the market,” he said.

Market 2013 ASP
2017 ASP
2013-2017 CAGR
Emerging $307 $259 -4.2%
Developed $491 $430 -3.3%
Total $372 $309 -4.5%

Forecast data | CAGR = Compound Annual Growth Rate

More on IDC

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