For the first time ever, smartphone sales would reach 1 billion worldwide this year. This is according to the latest forecast released by the International Data Corporation (IDC). It also expects the growth of handset sales to rise steadily in the next four years.
The market research and advisory firm estimated that growth in global smartphone sales would reach 39.3% this year compared to actual sales in 2012. However, it expects that pace to logically moderate in the coming few years. This could be because this year’s growth could possibly be the peak of industry sales.
The key driver in growth
IDC cited a possible reason for the strong growth of global smartphone sales this year. According to the tracking firm, it could be attributed to declining price tags of the devices. Logically, most smartphone brands and manufacturers are trying to lower their costs and offer the most reasonable products to budget conscious consumers.
It is estimated that average sales price of smartphones this year is at $337. That is lower by 12% compared to the average last year. If the current trend remains, IDC predicts that the average price tag of the devices could further decline to $265 in four years or by 2017.
Obviously, the predicted further decline in prices is expected to be a key driver in estimated increase in smartphone sales in the coming years. IDC forecasts global smartphone shipments to reach 1.7 billion by 2017. Despite declining prices, growth rate of sales could ease to an average of about 18.4% in 2014.
Changing game in various markets
In-house analysts at IDC assert that declining prices have drastically changed the game in the smartphone sector. They reminded that a few years ago, most industry experts thought feature phones would connect a billion people soon. But now, it has been proven that smartphones has greater potential as those are currently more preferred by users amid declining prices and advancing technologies.
Not surprisingly, IDC predicts that the fastest growth in sales of smartphones would be recorded in the emerging markets of Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions. The organization predicts that smartphone sales growth in each market would both rise by up to 23% in the coming four years. In North America, sales growth could slow to 7.8%, while in Europe, sales would also ease to 11.1% in the same period.
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