Gartner: Smartphone Sales Growth Will Decrease To 7 Percent In 2016
Market research firm Gartner is saying that in 2016, the growth of smartphone sales worldwide will drop from the 14.4 percent growth registered last year to only 7 percent for this year. According to Gartner’s estimates, the volume of smartphone shipments across the globe in 2016 will only number 1.5 billion units.
Obviously, the projected 7 percent is a far cry from the smartphone sales growth recorded more than half a decade ago. Indeed, back in 2010, the global smartphone market increased a whopping 73 percent. But apparently, times have changed a lot, and it looks like people are just not buying new smartphone devices that much anymore.
And it is not like there have been no prior indications of the slowing growth of the worldwide market for smartphones. As early as twelve months ago, various industry watchers have already observed the downward trend of smartphone sales every quarter. By the time the first quarter of 2016 rolled in, a number of analysts were convinced it was about to get worse.
With Western mobile markets such as the United States and the United Kingdom hitting full saturation levels, coupled with the fact that China, the world’s biggest market for smartphones, has also slowed down, a worldwide slump was inevitable. There were many reasons for the decrease in sales growth -- chief among them is the fact that people are not purchasing new smartphones because there really was no special reason to go and buy a new one, especially when the devices they own are still working perfectly fine. If it ain’t broken, there is no point in replacing it, right?
Still, in certain emerging markets, the dynamic is a bit different. Gartner notes that sales of feature phones in India comprised almost two thirds of the total mobile devices sold there in 2015. Naturally, once buyers of feature phones get tired of their devices, they will want to take it the next level by owning smartphones. And as long as smartphone devices continue to get cheaper, sales growth will likely rebound.
This year, it is projected that there will be 139 million smartphones sold in India, which represents a year over year growth of 29.5 percent. Although the average price of mobile phones in the Indian market does not go beyond $70, smartphones priced under $120 still have a decent chance of being purchased. If the Indian market continues to grow at a healthy rate, could it pull the rest of the world along with it? The global smartphone industry certainly hopes so.