Remember the good old days when Smartphones were all the rage? To have the latest iPhone was an honor on its own, while the latest Galaxy flagships were a marvel in the number of things that could be possibly crammed in a phone without making it blow up. Every new smartphone was greeted with a factor of awe and wistful desire to try it out.
But now, if the latest smartphone sales figures from IDC are any indication, those days are finally over. Originally started by the very first iPhone in 2007, the smartphone boom may now be dead.
Flat Smartphone Growth Rate
While global sales have been stronger than ever before, the exponential speed at which the smartphone sales were growing has died out. In fact, it has been declining at an incredible pace according to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC) , an American market research company.
In 2016, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.46 billion units with a year-over-year growth rate of 1.6%. This is a significant drop in comparison to the growth rates for 2014 and 2015; 10.4% and 27.5% respectively.
The major reason for this decline is attributed to the decline expected in developed regions. Developed markets like United States, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe, etc. have attained a saturation point where most of the population owns a smartphone. According to IDC, consumers in these developed countries are generally happy with their current devices, so there are a lot fewer buyers looking for a new device. These countries are expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.2%.
On the contrary, emerging markets in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America regions are still going strong in their demand for smartphones. They are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% over the 2015-2020 forecast period.
Android Still Trumps iPhone
Android smartphones accounted for 85.3% of the market share in 2016, in comparison to just 13.9% for iPhones. IDC also expects a slight increase in Android sales, thanks to Google’s introduction of Daydream and Project Tang.
This is also the very first year since the original iPhone that iPhone sales have shown a first full-year decline. This is in parts due to the wait for the iPhone 7 and the lack for a significant hardware refresh in the current iPhone. The iPhone 7 is expected to be unveiled on the 7th of September, just two days from now.
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