2017 will remain the year in which, for the first time, volume smartphone sales will have declined. Very few, of course, but in a global market that tends to saturate and renew itself less quickly, double-digit growth figures are definitely old history.
The firm IDC has just delivered its figures for the smartphone market in 2017 and the conclusions of this report are broadly consistent with those already dictated by Gartner a few days ago. We learn that for the first time, worldwide sales of smartphones are in decline. With 1.46 billion units delivered, the market shows a very slight decline in volume sales (-0.5%), which should not last however.
A situation anticipated by analysts, as explained Ryan Reith, Vice President in charge of the mobility sector: "2017 did not lie our predictions, and proved to be the year in which smartphone sales have ended up contracting. This is not surprising considering that the Chinese market recorded a decrease in volume sales of around 5%, and in Europe shipments dropped by 3.5%. Volumes remained on the other hand in the United States.
IDC sees the same trends as other analytical organizations: the rate of smartphones in developed countries is extremely high and competition is growing in the entry and mid-range. This is pushing the main manufacturers in the market to design increasingly expensive and high-end phones, knowing that it is a segment that still weighs for about 20% of sales. A paid strategy for Apple, which captures more than half of the market revenue with a range of limited but expensive iPhone. In a market where the average price of a smartphone continues to climb ($ 300 on average at the end of 2017), the average price of an iPhone is indeed $ 800.
IDC predicts that over the five years from 2017 to 2022, the smartphone market will record worldwide growth in volume sales of around 2.8%, reaching 1.68 billion devices sold in the last year. Growth should therefore resume – timidly – next year.