Over 1.5b smartphones to be shipped globally this year

A report by Canalys, a research platform, has forecasts that over 1.5 billion smart phones will be shipped in 2016 globally.

The report noted that despite turbulence for certain vendors and countries, the industry would still grow by over 10 per cent this year thanks to new opportunities. Canalys estimates total worldwide mobile phone shipments of just under two billion units with the smart phone share at 77 per cent.

Industry growth is decelerating, making it a much tougher environment for vendors. In Q4 2015 in Asia Pacific, the total mobile phone market shrunk annually for the first time ever, with shipments decreasing by two per cent to reach a total of 263 million units. In China, total mobile phone shipments reached 117 million units, with year-on-year growth of three per cent in Q4 2015.

Smart phones grew five per cent yearly as vendors such as Xiaomi and Huawei released new devices. Smart phone shipment growth in Asia also came from India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Ishan Dutt, a Canalys Research Analyst in Singapore, said, ‘Growth in 2016 will come from budget-conscious first-time smart phone adopters in emerging markets outside the BRIC countries.

According to him, countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are gaining interest from smart phone vendors as operators in these markets move from voice to data-driven services. Subsequent upgrades and refreshes will largely depend on the value that data can provide to these consumers, which will require a strong ecosystem.’ Smart phone shipments to all of Asia Pacific are expected to exceed the one billion mark in 2019.

In 2015, the North American smart phone market shrunk slightly by 0.4 per cent year on year. It was affected by the huge upgrade cycle that has taken place through mobile operator promotion.


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