The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed yesterday that, despite the expected launch of some big name smartphones in the second half of 2019, global smartphone shipments will drop 1.9% in 2019 year-on-year.
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The decline is due in part to sales being driven by highly saturated markets in developed countries and the fact smartphone sales growth has stuttered in developing economies over the past three years.
According to IDC hybrid smart-feature phones are still the primary sellers in most developing markets – these are phones with basic additions such as MP3 players and web browsers – to rather than fully fledged smartphones. This is generally due to the higher price placed on full-fat smartphones.
Senior research analyst Sangeetika Srivastava said that another big problem is the fact: “consumer demands around smartphone functionality continue to expand while their tolerance for higher-priced products continues to drop”.
Which in laymen terms means people don’t want to spend £1000 on smartphone anymore. He added manufacturers will need focus on introducing affordable products alongside the flashier flagship ranges if they want to overcome the ongoing smartphone sales slump.
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The dispute between the US and China has also reportedly damaged smartphone sales, causing instability in the market. The report follows a backlash against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. The backlash resulted from an executive order from the US White House that forced key companies, including Google, to cut ties with it earlier this month.
Program vice president Ryan Reith made a point of noting that “growth seems within reach” despite the order, explaining that he expects China to suffer a 5% decline during the feud before returning to flat growth in the first half of 2020.
Much of China’s rapid recovery is expected to be thanks to the rise of 5G. Worldwide, 5G smartphones are expected to start slow in 2019 and will; only to account for 26.3% of global smartphone shipments by 2023.