Low-cost smartphone to grow by 43 percent, says IDC

China, India and Brazil will play a crucial role in the growth of low-cost smartphones, which is expected to grow by 43 percent in 2018, according to IDC.

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Devices Tracker revealed that devices that cost below $200 will be increased from 33 percent of total shipments in 2013 to greater than 43 percent in 2018. Devices that cost more than $500 would shrink from 33 percent of total device shipment to 21.1 percent.

“The influx of inexpensive phones will drive the SCD average selling price bands downward. Low-cost android smartphones will drive much of the SCD shipment growth in coming years,” said Tom Mainelli, vice president, IDC.

The smartphone installed base is quickly approaching two billion units, and vendors are scrambling to find the next two billion users in new markets. IDC is forecasting strong double-digit growth in the low-cost Android smartphone segment that is driving much of the growth in emerging countries. Meanwhile, mature markets such as the United States and Western Europe are slowing to single-digit growth rates as the installed base swells.

Worldwide smart connected devices (SCD) are forecast to grow 15.6 percent year over year in 2014, reaching close to 1.8 billion devices. Smartphone growth is expected to lead the charge as PC and tablet plus 2-in-1 forecasts have been lowered in light of a weak first quarter. By 2018, IDC estimates shipments will grow to 2.4 billion units.

“Apple’s iOS-ification of Mac OS, and Microsoft’s implementation of Modern UI throughout different form factors are clear indicators that we’re living in a mobile-first world,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

“The PC will be the new accessory to mobile as smartphones become the first and primary computing device for many. IDC expects smartphone shipments to outpace total PC shipments by more than 6 to 1 in 2018,” Ubrani added.

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