Smartphone to grow 10.4% in 2015 to 1.44 billion units

The worldwide smartphone market will grow in the coming years, but new research suggests its meteoric rise over the past several years will start to slow over sluggishness in China. IDC said it believes this will continue to be the case, even if Apple introduces another lower cost iPhone option – like the rumored iPhone 6C – as many Android OEMs sell phones at price points of $200 or less.


According to IDC’s data, the growth of the global smartphone market is already showing signs of slowing down, with year-over-year growth in 2015 expected to stand at around 10.4%, down from the considerably more inviting 26.3% in 2014. In 2019 however, China’s share of the smartphone market is expected to be overtaken by India as it’s more an emerging market that has much more room to expand.

Another major factor in smartphone market growth – both in China and elsewhere around the world – is higher demand for big devices, according to IDC.

The global Data Corporation on Tuesday revised its mobile phone forecast for the year, noting that it now expects smartphone shipments to grow just 10.4 percent in 2015.

Interestingly, IDC said that smartphone manufacturing is starting to shift from China and Vietnam to India. Android shipments globally are expected to grow from 1.06 billion in 2014 to 1.54 billion in 2019, while iOS shipments will grow from 192.7 million in 2014 to 269.6 million in 2019.

Last week, IT research firm Gartner said the fall in smartphone purchasing in China had had a noticeable knock on effect – slowing the worldwide growth rate for smartphone sales – and reported that sales growth fell to its lowest level for two years.

Reith adds, “It is the local vendors like Micromax, Lava, and Intex that will feel the most pressure from worldwide competition within its market”.

The news of China’s slowing growth comes just a day after Apple CEO Tim Cook took the rare step of trying to ease investor concerns about the region by emailing CNBC’s Jim Cramer to discuss Apple’s performance in China.

The IDC believes Apple will continue to be successful with its iPhone as it focuses on higher margins compared to its competitors rather than merely chasing market share.

Interestingly, and for the first time, IDC admitted that market share isn’t as important as other market players make it to be.


“Since Apple finally delivered a larger screen smartphone with the iPhone 6 Plus, the demand for large screened devices among consumers has been at a record high”, Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s mobile phones team, said in a statement. Sales of phablet-sized devices – those with screens between 5.5 inches and 6 inches – are forecast to increase 84 percent year-over-year in 2015, and account for 71 percent of total shipments by 2019.

IDC: China slowdown cuts smartphone forecast, cheaper iPhone 6C wouldn't help