Global smartphone sales reached 397 million in Q4 2017: GfK

Mobile users abroadGlobal smartphone sales reached 397 million (+1 percent) units in the fourth quarter of 2017 — primarily driven by Middle East and Africa.

Smartphone average sales price (ASP) increased 10 percent to USD 363, its fastest quarterly growth rate to date.

Phone vendors sold 37 million (–3 percent) units in Q4 2017 in Western Europe. Phone cos generated $56 billion (+5 percent) revenue by selling 125.6 million units (–4 percent) in Western Europe in 2017. Demand is expected to rise by one percent to total 126.4 million units in Western Europe.

Smartphone sales reached 25.2 million units (+7 percent) and sales value rose 28 percent in Q4 in Central and Eastern Europe. Phone majors sold 85.2 million smartphones (+9 percent) in 2017. GfK is forecasting six percent increase in demand in Central and Eastern Europe driven by Russia and Ukraine.

North America smartphone market achieved six percent growth in Q4, its highest growth in over two years. Sales value increased 4 percent to $28.5 billion in North America. Smartphone sales rose two percent to 201.3 million units in 2017. GfK forecasts demand to be flat in 2018 in North America.

Sale of smartphone increased six percent to 35 million units in Latin America – fuelled by Brazil. Growth in the Latin America region will moderate to two percent in 2018, dragged by a slowdown in Brazil.

The Middle East and Africa smartphone sales grew 8 percent to 46.2 million units in Q4, driven primarily by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Smartphone sales rose 4 percent in 2017 to 176.5 million units. Smartphone demand will rise by five percent in Middle East and Africa in 2018.

Smartphone sales dipped 3 percent to 114.7 million units in China. This was the first year-on-year decline for the country in two and half years. China smartphone market value increased 17 percent in Q4 2017. The smartphone demand in 2017 rose one percent to 454.4 million units, while value increased 14 percent.

Sales in Developed Asia reached 18.5 million units (–9 percent), dragged by a 21 percent decline in South Korea. Smartphone sales in the region totaled 68.5 million units in 2017, a fall of six percent. GfK forecasts a return to growth of two percent in 2018, driven primarily by improving fortunes in Japan.

Emerging Asia saw smartphone sales of 58.6 million units (–1 percent) units in Q4 – pulled down by 3 percent decline in India, where a proliferation of low-priced 4G feature phones likely cannibalized smartphone sales. Phone makers sold 232.7 million smartphones (+8 percent) in the region in 2017. GfK forecasts regional demand growth to improve to 9 percent in 2018.

“The outlook for 2018 is positive as global smartphone demand will rise by 3 percent in 2018, driven by Emerging Asia and Central and Eastern Europe,” said Yotaro Noguchi, product lead in GfK’s trends and forecasting division.