Why smartphones are still growing?



In 2014, 1.2 billion smartphones were sold globally, and in the first quarter of 2015, smartphone unit demand was up +7% on the same period of last year. According to GfK there are four main reasons for this positive trend. The first is the growth of demand for bigger screens. Globally, sales of smartphones with larger screens (5”+) grew +180% in 2014, and have continued to drive growth in the first quarter of 2015. Share of such devices grew from 32% – or one third – of the global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2014, to 47% – almost half – in the first quarter of 2015. So, GfK says, supersize screens are expected to be the largest sales segment worldwide in 2015, surpassing the 4 to 4.5” segment for the first time. 4G-enabled devices are the second reason of smartphone success, surpassing 50% share of the global smartphone market for the first time in the first quarter of 2015, buoyed by continued price erosion of 4G smartphones. GfK’s forecasts point to 4G device share increasing further in 2015, reaching 59% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The third smartphone driver is the growth of low-end models – those priced below 250 dollars – which saw their share increase to 56%, up from 52% in Q4 2014, at the expense of high-end models (500 dollars and more. Low-end smartphones – those priced 150 dollars and below – are expected to gain further share in 2015, helped by continued price erosion in emerging markets. Finally, the good trend of smartphones depends on the development of emerging markets. The fastest growing regions in 2015 – forecast to grow by +29% and +33% respectively – are the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Emerging APAC.