IDC Forecasts Worldwide Smartphone Market Will Face Another Challenging Year in 2019 with a Return to Growth on the Horizon

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Android?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#Androidlt;/agt;–According to the International Data Corporation (IDC)
Worldwide
Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker
, global smartphone shipments will
face another challenging year in 2019 with volumes forecast to decline
1.9% from 2018. This will mark the third consecutive year of market
contraction driven by highly saturated markets in developed countries
and slower churn in some developing economies. IDC expects shipments in
the first half of 2019 (1H19) will be down 5.5% compared to 1H18, but
the second half of the year should see shipment growth of 1.4% driven by
5G acceleration, a growing selection of lower-priced premium handsets,
and on-going uplift from markets like India.

While developing markets still have a lot of upsides, some market
momentum has been lost as the transition from feature phone to
smartphone has started to slow. In all markets, pricing remains a
critical decision factor when purchasing a new handset, and this is
creating new opportunities for mid-range price points. However, the most
significant and most uncertain market factor is how the U.S.-China trade
dispute will play out over the year.

“Even without the growing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, the
smartphone market has some important challenges that need to be resolved
before we see growth again,” said Ryan
Reith
, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide
Mobile Device Trackers
. “However, the light at the end of the tunnel
is getting brighter, and growth seems within reach. The overall growth
expected in the second half of this year is inclusive of a 5% decline in
China during this time. China should be close to flat growth in 1H20 and
return to positive territory in 2H20 as heavy 5G marketing inclusive of
device subsidies is imminent.”

While design innovation will remain the industry’s center of attention,
5G momentum is also in full swing globally and device OEMs, component
suppliers, telcos, and services companies are actively investing in
establishing an early lead. IDC expects 5G smartphones to experience a
slow start in 2019, capturing just 0.5% of total shipments. But the ramp
up will be quick across all markets, driving 5G to account for 26.3% of
worldwide shipments in 2023.

“Amidst all these design and 5G developments, the challenge remains that
consumer demands around smartphone functionality continue to expand
while their tolerance for higher-priced products continues to drop,”
said Sangeetika
Srivastava
, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide
Mobile Device Trackers
. “With 5G on the horizon as well as some
interesting new form factors, it will be critical for vendors to
continue to bring affordable products to market to reinvigorate the
market’s growth.”

Platform Highlights

Android: As expected, Android’s smartphone share will increase
slightly to 86.7% in 2019 from 85.1% in 2018 mostly due to launches of
several new models, including a handful of 5G devices announced or
coming to market in 2H19. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.1% with shipments of 1.32
billion in 2023. Android average selling prices (ASPs) are estimated to
grow by 5.8% in 2019 to US$269, up from US$254 in 2018.

iOS: 2019 is expected to be another challenging year for new
iPhone shipments with volumes expected to drop to 183.5 million, down
12.1% year over year. Apple is not likely to deliver a 5G handset in
2019, but given that many telcos and markets are still trying to figure
out their 5G strategy, it’s unlikely this will impact its market share.
It is worth noting that Apple is beginning to sell more of its official
refurbished iPhones, which creates a sizeable hardware revenue stream
and, more importantly, maintain or expand its iOS installed base.

 

Worldwide Smartphone Platform Shipments, Market Share, and
5-Year CAGR, 2019 and 2023

(shipments in millions)

Platform  

2019
Shipment
Volume*

 

2019
Market
Share*

 

2019
Year-
over-Year
Growth*

 

2023
Shipment
Volume*

 

2023
Market
Share*

 

2023
Year-
over-Year
Growth*

 

2018-2023
CAGR*

Android   1,191.9   86.7%   -0.1%   1,324.1   87.1%   1.9%   2.1%
iOS   183.5   13.3%   -12.1%   195.9   12.9%   1.1%   -1.3%
Others   0.1   0.0%   -89.8%   0.0   0.0%   4.8%   -43.6%
Total   1,375.5   100.0%   -1.9%   1,520.0   100.0%   1.8%   1.6%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, May 29,2019
 

* Table Note: All figures are forecast projections.

In addition to the table above, a graphic illustrating IDC’s 2018-2023
worldwide smartphone forecast by generation of connectivity technology
is available by viewing this
press release on IDC.com
.

Due to the many uncertainties surrounding the U.S. Executive Order
signed on May 15th and subsequent developments, IDC has not adjusted its
current forecast to reflect an unclear future. IDC will continue to
closely monitor the situation and will make forecast adjustments as
appropriate. To learn more about IDC’s perspective on this topic, please
see the report, U.S.
Bans Threaten Huawei’s Growth and Partners Share Risk; IT Buyers Face
Tough Decisions Until There Is More Clarity
(Doc #lcUS45104119).

About IDC Trackers
IDC
Tracker
products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor
share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than
100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research
processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and
monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly
excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone
Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or [email protected].

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn
more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com.
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Contacts

Melissa Chau
+65 6829 7713
[email protected]

Sangeetika Srivastava
[email protected]

Ryan Reith
+1 650 350 6242
[email protected]

Michael Shirer
+1 508 935 4200
[email protected]

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