Smartphone sales in India will see a strong double digit growth in 2016, while global smartphone sales are forecast to grow by a single digit for the first time in this calendar year, according to research firm Gartner.
“Countries such as India will help generate new mobile phone user growth. Sales of smartphones in India are on pace to reach 29 per cent in 2016 and will continue to exhibit double-digit growth in the next two years, it said.
But, it pointed out that while smartphone sales will continue to grow in emerging markets, the growth will slow down.
Gartner predicts that, through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphone in emerging Asia/Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable.
"Prices did not decline enough to drive upgrades from low-end feature phones to low-end smartphones," Vendors were not able to reduce the price of a 'good enough to use' smartphone lower than $50,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner.
Meanwhile, global smartphone sales are expected to will exhibit a single-digit growth. Total global smartphone sales are estimated to reach 1.5 billion units in 2016, a seven per cent increase from 2015. The total mobile phone market is forecast to reach 1.9 billion units in 2016.
“The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
“Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent growth respectively,” he added.
In the mature markets of North America, Western Europe, Japan and mature Asia/Pacific, Gartner analysts expect to see an extension of phone lifetimes among users.
“As carriers’ deals become more complex, users are likely to hold onto phones, especially as the technology updates become incremental rather than exponential. In addition, the volumes of users upgrading from basic phones to premium phones will slow, with more basic phones being replaced with the same type of phone,” said Gartner analysts.