We share on a regular basis the growth of smartphone sales around the world. Starting this year however, there will be a marked shift in how that growth continues.
Smartphone growth in the United States will grind to single-digits this year for example. The same is expected for Western Europe and Japan. That is a far departure from what we have seen in the past, but was an inevitable outcome.
2013 saw over 1 billion smartphones sold worldwide, representing nearly 40% overall growth. As the growth markets begin realizing some form of saturation, it is expected to see rates shrink to under 10% in 2017, just three years from now.
To maintain any measure of growth, we can also expect prices to continue to drop, the average price of a smartphone in 2013 was $335. By 2018, that average should fall to $260, fueled by what will be a dramatic increase in low-price-point devices. Smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 520, the new Nokia X as well as the Motorola Moto G are just the beginning.
This is also why we will see wearables become more and more prevalent, since it looks like that will be the next growth wave in mobile technology.