IDC: Worldwide Smartphone Market Will See the First Single-Digit Growth Year on Record

By Money Times

Dec 07, 2015 10:45 PM EST

China is the center of global attention for the smartphone market in recent quarters. It shares a large percentage of the global market, but its economic slowdown has seriously affected the worldwide growth.

According to Times of India, a new market forecast revealed on Thursday that for the first time ever during the economic slowdown in China, global smartphone sales growth will cool to single digits.

The research firm IDC predicted in 2015, the shipment of a worldwide smartphone will increase by 9.8% to a total of 1.43 billion units. The updated forecast reflected the diminishing growth in many Asian markets, Latin America and Western Europe.

IDC also predicts that the cooling is expected to continue through 2019. China is considered a key market for smart phones and is on the verge of being hit by severe economic slowdown and is also largely saturated.

However, as mentioned by Business Wire, the slower growth intensifying over the 2015-2019 forecast period highly predicts the diminished shipment forecasts for Windows Phone as well as "alternative platforms" (phones running operating systems other than Android, iOS, and Windows Phone).

IDC also views China as a' replacement market', leading to low single digits shipment growth in China. Moreover, 2015 expects to be the highest growth for the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region and the shipments are expected to surpass "hot growth" markets like India and Indonesia by increasing nearly 50% year over year.

"As shipment volumes continue to slow across many markets, consumers will be enticed by both affordable high-value handsets as well as various financing options on pricier models," Anthony Scarsella, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phones team also mentioned, "Vendors will look to push device financing and trade-in options across many of the developed markets as growth in these markets is expected to primarily come from replacement purchases and second devices. reported that Ryan Reith added, "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."

IDC said Android will be the leading market stealer with 81.2 percent of share while Apple holds 15.8 percent of the market. The market percentage of Windows Phone is expected to be 2.2 percent and that of other operating systems is only 0.8 percent.

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