Global smartphone growth to fall sharply in 2014: IDC
SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Growth in global smartphone shipments will fall sharply this year and keep slowing through 2018, with average prices dropping significantly as demand shifts to China and other developing countries, according to market research firm IDC.
Annual growth in 2014 is expected to be 19.3 per cent and then decline to 6.2 per cent in 2018, IDC said in a report on Wednesday. That follows a 39.2 per cent jump in 2013 when smartphone shipments topped 1 billion units for the first time.
The forecast reinforces concerns on Wall Street that the explosion in smartphones that began with Apple's iPhone in 2007 is coming to an end, at least in the United States (US) and other developed countries where consumers favor pricey, top-tier handsets.
Smartphone growth in North America and Europe is expected to shrink to single digits and Japan could even see a slight slowdown in shipments in the next few years, IDC said.