Smartphones to grow at 9.8 percent to 1.43 billion units in 2015

India smartphone market
Smartphones shipments globally will increase at 9.8 percent to 1.43 billion units in 2015, according to IDC.

This is a bad news for Indian smartphone makers such as Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, etc. because IDC predicts that the Middle East and African region will be the fastest smartphone selling region beating India and Indonesia. This means, the recent flood of 4G smartphone anticipating a 4G network boom did not result into significant growth in smartphone shipments in the country.

IDC says since China has largely become a replacement market, smartphone shipment growth in China will be in the low single digits. Smartphone shipments in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region is expected to increase nearly 50 percent — surpassing markets like India and Indonesia.

In addition to home grown smartphone makers, device makers such as Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, LG, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple are also betting on the success of Indian smartphone market.

IDC says the main driver for the single digit growth will be the success of low-cost smartphones in emerging markets. This indicates that most of these device makers will not be doing well financially because the demand will be for low cost models. In high-growth markets, replacement cycles will be less than the typical two-year rate, mainly because the components that comprise a sub-$100 smartphone do not have the ability to survive two years.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phones team, said: “Phone vendors will look to push device financing and trade-in options across many of the developed markets as growth in these markets is expected to primarily come from replacement purchases and second devices.”

The US-based technology major Apple has taken the lead with its iPhone smartphone Upgrade Program, and several other vendors are expected to implement similar plans. These plans will be speeding up the upgrade cycle through trade-in and incentives.

IDC said Google Android OS’s market share is expected to grow from 81 percent in 2015 to 82 percent over the forecast period.

The OS market share for iOS is expected to remain around 14-15 percent annually. The challenge in 2-3 years’ time could be excess inventory in the developing markets that refurbished iPhones are sold into.

In 2015, the average selling price of Windows Phones will be $148, which is $71 lower than Android’s ASP of $219. Microsoft Windows OS share will dip 10.2 percent in 2015 largely due to the lack of OEM partner support.

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Baburajan K
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