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Global smartphone shipments to see an even sharper drop

Staff writer ▼ | June 2, 2016
Shipments of smartphones globally were now expected to see an even sharper slowdown in 2016, led by outright falls in mature markets such as Japan and China, IDC said.
Global smartphone shipments
Technology   The rate of growth in shipments would fall from 27.8%
The rate of growth in shipments would fall from 27.8% in 2014 and 10.5% in 2015 to just 3.1% in 2016, according to downardly revised forecasts contained in IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

IDC's latest projection for 2016 was 2.6 percentage points less than previously estimated.

In absolute terms, the researcher estimated original equipment manufacturers would ship 1.48bn devices in 2016, rising to 1.84bn by 2020.

Large markets such as the United States, Western Europe, and China were expected to see low single digit growth rates in 2016, as opposed to falls of 6.4% for Japan and 6.9% in Canada.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, also pointed out the rising weight of so-called eTailer channels in smartphone shipments.

They were expected to rise from just 4% in 2013 to 12% in 2016, he said.

"In all these markets, smartphone buying behavior is changing in many ways. In operator-driven markets the transition away from two year subsidized contracts toward monthly installment plans are slowly taking place. Meanwhile, many retail heavy markets are seeing a surge in the eTailer channel, better known as online marketplaces," IDC said.

The researcher also highlighted the increasing emphasis from buyers on devices' lifecycle.