Researchers from the International Data Corporation have released a rather surprising forecast for the future of the smartphone industry, one which predicts that global smartphone shipments will see single-digit growth this year for the first time. The forecast claims that smartphone shipment will grow by 9.8% this year, which doesn’t mean that the market is shrinking, it just means that it’s growing more slowly, which is still a problem. Having already slowed down to single-digit growth, smartphone companies will need to start working harder in order to keep the momentum going, otherwise the smartphone market may start to fizzle out.
The age of the smartphone could be coming to a close, researchers have found. According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC ), 2015 will be the first full year of single-digit worldwide growth for the smartphone industry. IDC predicts worldwide smartphone shipments will grow 9.8% in 2015 to a total of 1.43 billion units. ‘With the smartphone market finally slowing to single-digit growth, maintaining momentum will depend on several factors,’ said Ryan Reith of IDC ‘The main driver has been and will continue to be the success of low-cost smartphones in emerging markets. ‘This, in turn, will depend on capturing value-oriented first-time smartphone buyers as well as replacement buyers. ‘We believe that, in a number of high-growth markets, replacement cycles will be less than the typical two-year rate, mainly because the components that comprise a sub-$100 smartphone simply do not have the ability to survive two years. ‘Offering products that appeal to both types of buyers at a suitable price point will be crucial to maintaining growth and vendor success.’ The slower growth is expected to intensify slightly over the 2015-2019 forecast period and is largely attributed to lower shipment forecasts for Windows Phone as well as ‘alternative platforms’ (phones running operating systems other than Android, iOS, and Windows Phone).