Global Smartphone Shipments to Drop for the 3rd Consecutive Year in 2019 – IDC

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Global smartphone shipments fell 4.1% in 2018 and the International Data Corporation (IDC) is saying the market would continue to be challenged. According to its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the research firm projects that the smartphone market in 2019 would experience its third consecutive year of declining shipments.

According to its projection, worldwide smartphone volumes are expected to fall by 0.8% in 2019 with volumes to fall to 1.39 billion.

Why Smartphone Shipments is Expected to Drop

Despite the efforts of smartphone Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to bake new features into their mobile device offerings, the market’s growth is still predicted to fall.

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The major reason identified for this is longer replacement cycles on the part of the users. Smartphone consumers choose to hold onto their devices longer due to a lack of innovation and higher price tags of newer smartphones. This is despite the addition of artificial intelligence, multi-lens camera modules, full-screen displays by smartphone makers.

Also, China, the largest country market for smartphone consumption accounting for roughly one-third of global shipments continues to be challenged as overall consumer spending around smartphones has dipped considerably. This is expected to cause a drop in global figures.

The Market to Also Recover in 2019 

The smartphone market is also predicted to pick up momentum in the second half of this year. Projections by IDC are set at year-over-year growth of 2.3% this year.

This is because Smartphone OEMs in 2019 are looking to launch devices with innovative designs and specifications such as 5G, foldable displays, punch-hole cameras, full-screen in-display fingerprint scanners etc to lure consumers to upgrade.

“Marketing buzz around 5G though in its early stages is expected to ramp up quickly. And while use cases for upgrading to a 5G device/service remain unclear, it is evident that after 2019 the adoption will begin to attain significant numbers.”

IDC Report

Also, the entry of more Chinese OEMs into emerging markets like Africa is expected to also boost this growth as users would be having access to average priced quality devices.

Over the long term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.54 billion units in 2023 with 5G smartphones accounting for 1 out of every 4 smartphones shipped globally by then.


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