Smartphone growth already slowing down

Smartphone growth already slowing down
Some of the new buzz words that got dropped a lot at MWC 2014 were, “growth markets.” Also known as developing markets, or emerging markets, growth markets are what will continue to drive smartphone sales growth for the foreseeable future.

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.




1. jojon

Posts: 435; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Yes exactly right, and the most vulnerable of the major companies there at the moment must be Apple with basicaly two top end phones, that is a small footprint with given the dynamics that are coming in this market. They have painted themselves into a marketing corner.

2. slyhounddog

Posts: 22; Member since: Jun 28, 2013

Looks like we'll have to have that rumored "iphablet" or the revolutionary "Iwatch" to keep them alive. Or, the best idea yet, an apple branded android device. Shut up and take my money!

4. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

lol you guys are really blind apple still has around 20% of market share and that's all with what 3-4 phones they cost nothing to make and they sell of 200% more profit !

10. Skoms

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 03, 2014

Nokia sells slower nokia is going backwards latast quarter thanks to WP Now is nokia goin Android

7. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

this isn't quite right market growth will slow, but people will still buy smartphones i don't know about the world market, but at least every two years people in the u.s. are going to get out of contracts and need a new one and if the difference in price between a cheap, two year old iphone whatever, or bargain priced android phone that will never be updated and flagship phones is only two hundred dollars, companies like apple will be just fine besides, again speaking for the u.s., i don't actually know anyone who owns something other than a flagship android device. the cheapest device i've ever seen even in my circle of acquaintances is a nexus 5, which is still technically a flagship phone even if it isn't quite as premium as some of the others growth is just a higher amount of phones sold than in previous years. 0% growth doesn't mean that people aren't buying smartphones, it means they aren't buying them in larger numbers plus if everyone has a smartphone, you've reached the bottom. the only way to go then is to upgrade into a nicer handset.

3. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Reports like this are to be taken with a grain of salt.... Moving on...

5. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Why? Of course growth will start slowing as the market becomes more saturated. It's common sense.

9. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

It's not that it's slowing, because it's obvious that this will happen, rather that it's not something to raise an eyebrow about.. There's also plenty of room for the market to continue to grow.. That's what's really important still..

11. garyII

Posts: 160; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

besides, the frequency of high-end devices coming out seems to be getting higher and higher...for example like ppl owning Iphone 5s not even finish appreciating its design, its usability...or something else, the new one is around the corner...

6. timezone

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2013

There are two factors to consider. The market is saturated. Those that want a smartphone already own one. Except for emerging markets. Also the hardware is mature. There was a time when one bought a PC every couple of years to keep up. Now it is in the five year range. The need to update smartphones every year is becoming less of an issue. I think there are still great reasons to upgrade the hardware but for the majority of the public the big upgrade doesn't look much different from the current one.

8. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

although i think it is important to point out that when people were buying a new computer every couple of years to keep up, there were way fewer people buying computers. computers have never been cheap until very, very recently i don't think the comparison is exact. especially because a big problem with phones that does not exist with desktops, and not as much with laptops is just physical wear. you don't sling your computer around like a phone. two year old phones almost always have taken a beating except with the most careful users. even with the difference between the iphone 5s/6, gs4/5, and htc one/m8 becoming small, the difference between the iPhone 5s/6s, gs4/6 and htc one/m9 or whatever will probably be big enough to warrant an upgrade, especially considering wear

12. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Call me when negative growth is reached.

13. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Hmm one of the previous commentators said Nokia was going to Android because of sales of Windows smart phones being low. actually a Nokia rep said he had been working on the open source version of android for a year and a half now therefore Nokia CEO Mr Elop and MS CEO Ballmer were aware of the X phones and putting microsoft services on them instead of Googles.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.