Good times ahead for smartphone makers, says IDC

Smartphone shipment forecastThe global smartphone market is expected to achieve annual growth of 3 percent in 2017 against 2.5 percent growth achieved in terms of unit shipments in 2016, said IDC.

IDC anticipates smartphone shipment volumes will grow to 1.52 billion in 2017 thanks to the launch of new smartphones.

Smartphone shipments will grow at 4.5 percent in 2018, fueled by improved economic conditions in many emerging markets and a full year of new iPhone shipments from Apple.

“2016 was an interesting year for smartphones with some high-growth markets down and other mature markets like the U.S. and China outpacing global growth rates,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.

Less than half the world’s population is currently using a smartphone, and markets like the Middle East & Africa, Central & Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia will grow further. Media consumption, gaming, augmented and virtual reality, and constant connectivity will drive the market for advanced smartphones.

IDC expects the high-end phone market will continue to hold its place in the industry. Advancements in computing, display technology, cameras, and storage will continue to create the need for high-end users to refresh their devices.

“With the ongoing fight at the high end, vendors will need to find a way to innovate ahead of the curve to attract new users and increase shipments while driving profits,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.