Sandy may hit global smartphone target of 686 million for 2012 as America contributes larger portion

Telecom Lead America: Will Hurricane Sandy, which is likely to negatively affect American economy in a big way, hit the smartphone targets for 2012? American buying decisions will influence the smartphone and tablet targets of Samsung, Apple, BlackBerry, etc.

Though China is set to overtake the U.S. as the largest smartphone market this year, the current turmoil in America has the potential to negatively impact growth in the smartphone market.


Though Sandy will be slowing down now, people who lost their homes and faced other challenges, will shift their buying decisions, according to analysts.

Though analysts confirmed that Sandy will negatively impact Smartphone growth in 2012, could not assess the exact impact.

Earlier IDC said cell phone shipments are expected to reach 1.8 billion units this year compared to 1.7 billion in 2011. Smartphone shipments will offset the 10 percent decline expected from feature phones, growing 38.8 percent year-over-year to 686 million units in 2012.

According to a Bloomberg report, Sandy, the Atlantic superstorm that ravaged the East Coast, knocked out cable or phone connections to more than 1 million customers in the New York area and weakened wireless service from Virginia to Massachusetts.

About one-fourth of mobile-service transmitters failed in an area stretching from the coast of the northeastern U.S., where Sandy came ashore on Oct. 29, to inland West Virginia, Federal Communications Commission officials said in Washington.

Earlier, IDC forecast that China’s share of the smartphone market will increase to 26.5 percent this year from 18.3 percent last year, while U.S. market share declines to 17.8 percent from 21.3 percent.

According to a report by Associated Press, several airlines have canceled thousands of flights, stranding travelers around the globe. Insurers are bracing for possible damages of more than $5 billion. Retailers face shrunken sales.

Preliminary estimates are that damage will range between $10 billion and $20 billion or more. Present damages and time taken for correction will be the crucial influencing factors that will help in future buying of premium goods.

Nokia, Apple and Samsung have a number of smartphones lined up for 2012. Besides emerging markets, these smartphone majors’ main target is America.

According to an earlier report by research agency IDC, in the U.S., growth is expected to slow this year because smartphones already make up the majority of shipments here. The United Kingdom, the next biggest smartphone market, will trail behind, with a 4.5 percent market share. India’s market share is expected to be 2.5 percent in 2012 and will grow to 8.5 percent in 2016.