Smartphones: Heroes in a Down Mobile Market

Source: IDC

While mobile messaging profits may continue an upward trend, the market isn’t immune to recession pains. A new report from IDC’s predicts a major slow-down for the mobile phone market in 2009, but smartphones are apparently just too cool to follow the unflattering trend.

The mobile phone device market has grown sharply for years, with double-digit growth rates to show for it – the last downturn was in 2001, when they declined 2.3 percent. But in 2009, IDC predicts that we’ll see a downturn in mobile phone volumes by 1.9 percent.

More interesting for mobile marketers is that IDC expects an 8.9 percent growth of the smartphone market in 2009. We welcome this growth, as smartphones offer more ways to reach your target audience on the go.

IDC’s report follows a series of announcements from mobile phone device companies and chip makers led to the report. Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and MediaTek Inc. are among the chip suppliers who have announced cutbacks in manufacturing for next year.

The mobile-phone market has seen double-digit annual growth during the last several years due to a focus on emerging markets, but growth in those markets has been slowing as the markets mature, IDC said. The research company said it now expects worldwide growth of just 7.1 percent this year.

IDC predicts that the global mobile phone market will return to an upward trend in 2010 as world economic markets recover. In the same year, smartphone shipments will increase by 28.2 percent in the U.S. and 24 percent globally.