IDC: smartphone market in 2018 to remain mostly the same
In the past we've seen long-term predictions completely miss the mark, so take this as a decent guess of what might happen. Unlike its 2011 forecast, this time around IDC is much more restrained in its predictions, expecting things in 2018 to be the mostly the same as in 2014.
This means Android will be the unequivocal leader, only losing a bit of market share while shedding a good deal of its average selling price (ASP) - going from an expected $254 for this year to $215 in 2018. We're already seeing heavy competition for the $200 market, but one can only imagine what kind of specs $200 will buy in four years time.
The declining average selling price will be due to increasing importance of emerging markets and is why IDC expects iOS share to decline by about a percent. Apple is going strong in developed markets with heavy carrier subsidies but emerging markets will see small penetration of the company's premium priced devices.
IDC expects Windows Phone to be the platform that picks up the lost percentage points of Android and iOS. No predictions of 21% market share this time around, instead the forecast is for less than twice WP's market share.
Surprisingly, BlackBerry is still expected to be around "through a niche approach based on its security assets" despite having a predicted 0.3% share in 2018.
Also interesting is that the Others category is expected to triple in 2018 to 2.1%. This presumably includes Tizen, Firefox OS and any other alt-OS that manages to survive.
Worldwide Smartphone Forecast by Region, Shipments, Market Share and 5-Year CAGR (units in millions)
2014 Shipment Volumes*
2014 Market Share
2018 Shipment Volumes*
2018 Market Share
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, May 28, 2014
The overall smartphone market is expected to grow from 1.2 billion units this year to 1.8 billion in 2018. Again, emerging markets will be the main growth drivers so the average selling price overall will drop from $335 last year to $314 this year to $267 in 2018 (staying close to Android's ASP since it makes up the bulk of the market). China alone is expected to account for a third of the market.
Worldwide Smartphone Average Selling Price (ASP) by Region and 5-Year CAGR (figures in $USD)
2014 Smartphone ASP*
2018 Smartphone ASP*
* Forecast data
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