Forecasts suggest that the global market of smartphones will decline by 5.5% in the first half of 2019. However, according to the latest IDC report, respectable levels of growth are expected in the remaining months of the year.
5G devices and cheaper flagships will increase demand this year
Although the highest level of demand will not be sufficient to compensate for the decline observed so far, IDC expects a general sales decline of 1.9% this year; growth between July and December should average 1.4%, despite a possible decline of up to 5% in China. The main driving force will be improvements in markets like India along with an expanded range of cheaper premium devices, such as the upcoming iPhone XR (2019) that will arouse consumer interest.
Prices continue to be an increasingly important factor for consumers. This is creating new opportunities in the mid-range segment, something that should benefit brands like Xiaomi and Samsung. Huawei and Honor could also benefit from this, but this depends on the lifting of the US ban.
Another force for the market by the end of the year will come in the form of 5G devices, a category that should capture a share of 0.5%. Samsung, OnePlus, LG and Xiaomi have launched their initial offerings, but there many are on the way, including HTC’s 5G flagship, Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Pro 5G variants and Huawei 5G devices.
The next five years seem positive
Looking to the future, IDC predicts that the market in China will soon recover. The country should be close to flat growth during the first half of 2020 and, by the end of that year, growth should return to positive thanks to the demand for 5G devices. The moment of 5G smartphones will continue to benefit from the smartphone market globally and in 2023 it is believed that the product category will represent 26.3% of all smartphones.
IDC believes that design innovations will remain the center of the industry for years to come. However, the challenge will be to meet the high demands of consumers, keeping prices low, as tolerance to higher-priced products will decrease. This will be particularly critical when it comes to introducing new form factors, such as foldable devices.
How will Android and Apple be affected?
In terms of how this will affect the dominant mobile platforms, both Android and iOS will record an increase in shipments. However, the market share of each will remain fairly stable.
Android, on the one hand, predicts that global shipments of 1.375 billion units this year will grow to 1.520 billion in 2023. On average, the platform should grow by 2.1% per year and eventually end with a market share by 87.1%, slightly more than the 86.7% participation planned for this year. Also, in a separate note, during the five-year period, the average selling price of Android phones should increase from $254 to $269.
As for iOS and the popularity of Apple’s iPhone, IDC predicts a 12.1% drop this year to 183.5 million shipments. However, by 2023 it is expected to increase to 195.9 million, which gives the platform a 12.9% market share, slightly less than the 13.3% that Apple expects to have this year.
It is unlikely that the lack of an Apple iPhone 5G this year will affect overall sales due to the small market share that 5G devices should have, although next year’s launch is expected to increase demand. However, interestingly, IDC says that Apple is starting to sell more iPhones officially restored to consumers. This increases revenue and helps maintain or expand their ecosystem, something that could be crucial in the coming years.
(Via: IDC )
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