IDC Says the Rest of 2014 will be 'Strong' for Smartphones

IDC Says the Rest of 2014 will be 'Strong' for SmartphonesWith 2014 rapidly entering the home stretch, reports are coming in with regard to how the year will ultimately look in the record books for smartphones sales and industry growth.

According to IDC, the smartphone outlook remains strong for 2014 (up 23.8%, despite what the research giants call “slowing growth in mature markets).

When all is said and done, IDC estimates that more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014.

“Looking ahead, total volumes are forecast to reach 1.8 billion units in 2018,” the report summary reads, “resulting in a 12.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the  2013 – 2018 forecast period.”

Emerging markets have accounted for more than 50% annual smartphone shipments dating back to 2011, so it is no question that they have been crucial to the growth of the overall market. However, up until 2014, mature markets have consistently delivered double-digit year-on-year growth.

“The smartphone market, which has experienced runaway growth over the last several years, is starting to slow. Mature markets have slowed considerably but still deliver strong revenues with average selling prices (ASPs) over $400. Meanwhile, many emerging markets are still barreling along, but with ASPs of less than $250,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “The key for vendors now is to maintain a presence in the higher-margin mature markets, while establishing a sustainable presence within the fast-growing emerging markets. To enable this strategy, operating system companies are partnering with OEMs to provide low-cost handsets.”