Worldwide Smartphone Sales Are Finally Slowing Down

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2015 will only see single-digit growth in smartphone sales, with Windows Phone in particular suffering, according to IDC

The worldwide smartphone market will see its slowest growth rate on record as more and more consumers choose to stick with their existing devices, new figures have predicted.

Analyst firm IDC predicts worldwide smartphone shipments will grow 9.8 percent through 2015 to reach a total of 1.43 billion units sold, marking the first time that sales have increased less than 10 percent.

This is no reason to be downbeat, however, as strong consumer growth for low-cost devices, particularly amongst developing markets, will continue to drive sales across the world.

Stalling

telecomsIDC says that the slowdown is largely due to the Chinese market, which has been driving strong growth over the past few years, moving towards saturation as it now becomes a replacement market.

The country is now only forecast to see low single digit growth, with the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region taking over in terms of the highest growth in 2015, as shipments are expected to increase nearly 50 percent year over year, surpassing “hot growth” markets like India and Indonesia.

Overall, IDC’s figures shown unsurprisingly strong performances from Android and iOS, as the two leading operating systems steal sales away from competitors.

Android comes out on top, with an estimated 81.2 percent market share in 2015 having shipped 1,161.1m units over the course of the year, with Apple in second with 15.8 percent (226m units shipped).

The platform’s dominance is only set to continue, as by 2019, IDC predicts the company will grow to have 82.6 percent of the market, ahead of Apple on 14.1 percent. iOS’ fall is facilitated by a slight growth from Windows Phone, which is estimated to have 2.3 percent of the market, but also by an increase from other competitors such as Tizen and Cyanogen.

Windows Phone comes in for particular scrutiny by IDC, as Microsoft’s phone system is only estimated to grow its market share by 0.1 percent over the next four years.

“Despite all the effort Microsoft has put into the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft’s share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years,” IDC said, noting that the average selling price of Windows Phones devices was $148, $71 lower than Android’s ASP of $219, showing the discrepancy between the two companies.

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