IDC Raises Mobile Sales Outlook
Research firm IDC has upped its forecast for the mobile phone market to 7.3% growth this year from 5.8% because of stronger than expected gains in emerging markets and sales of under-$200 smartphones. That marks a rebound from nearly flat (1.2%) growth in 2012.
Manufacturers are projected to ship 1.8 billion handsets this year, with smartphones expected to surpass 1 billion units for the first time, up 40% from a year ago. The size of the smartphone market has doubled in the last two years, driven by adoption of lower-cost models in developing countries and steep carrier device subsidies in mature markets.
By 2017, IDC expects smartphones to represent nearly the entire mobile market in the most developed economies. When it comes to operating systems, Android will maintain its dominance, with an estimated 75.3% share of the global smartphone market. iOS will be a distant second, at 16.9%, with Windows Phone, at 3.9%, and BlackBerry, 2.7%.
In light of Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Nokia, IDC says the software giant will have to focus its smartphone efforts on high-growth emerging markets if it hopes to build on its nominal share gains to date. By 2017, the research firm projects Windows Phone will improve to 10.2% share of the smartphone market, closing the gap with iOS (17.9%), but still well behind Android (68.3%).