Developing markets continue to drive global smartphone growth

The latest global smartphone numbers from market analyst GfK reveal the continued dependence on sales of cheaper devices in developing markets for growth.

The overall market grew by 7.4 percent in Q3 2015 compared to the same quarter a year ago, but total value increased by just 5.9%, indicating a slightly shrinking average selling price. The only regions with double-digit growth were Emerging APAC(where India experienced 40% growth) and MEA while Latin America, which was the main growth driver a couple of years ago, has actually gone into reverse.

“A mix-shift towards low-end smartphones, especially in the struggling economies of Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe, has combined with a depreciating US dollar to offset an ASP increase in China – resulting in ASP remaining flat year-on-year in the third quarter,” said Kevin Walsh of GfK.

“GfK forecasts global smartphone demand to grow by +13 percent in Q4 this year, bringing total 2015 demand to 1.3bn units. At +7 percent year-on-year growth this represents a slowdown from the growth of +23 percent seen in 2014.

“Next year we forecast growth to improve marginally to +8 percent year-on-year, buoyed by China and Central Europe, but emerging APAC and MEA will remain the main powerhouses of smartphone unit demand. These markets will continue to benefit from the double-whammy of low smartphone penetration rates and more lower-priced devices entering the market.”

GfK Q3 2015 smartphone

GfK Q3 2015 smartphone forecast

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