Mobile Phone Forecast: Is Saturation of the Market in Sight?
by Amy Lignor
It is a fact that when people say no matter where they look – whether it be while walking down a neighborhood sidewalk, driving in their cars, shopping at the grocery store – it seems that everyone on the planet is holding a phone to their ear, or staring down at the screen in order to text, get information, search online, or watch Facebook and Twitter “remarks” intently.
However, this should be no surprise, seeing as that sales of mobile phones were forecasted to reach $523 billion by the year 2020 in the U.S. alone. The number of consumers using mobile devices to shop will also grow by 26 million, and when it comes to everyone’s favorite, Smartphone, sales are set to peak in Western markets in 2017 as they enter what experts call “their new phase of maturity.”
To break this down a bit, global phone shipments are well on their way to the 2 billion unit mark this year, which is up from 1.96 billion approximately two years ago. But will 2017, be the ultimate peak of saturation when it comes to North America? According to some analysts (CCS Insight), it will most definitely be, leading to smartphone sales in Western Europe and North America slowly declining after 2017 has come to an end.
This forecast spotlights the fact that smartphones and the importance that they bring to people is diminishing. With the plethora of connected devices growing more and more each day, smartphone has been immersed in a full range of tablets, virtual reality headsets, and more that are all competing for the consumer’s paycheck.
Competition is growing by leaps and bounds, and the amount of devices out there that have overtaken the mobile phone arena is amazing. Innovation is the key, which has not been growing by leaps and bounds in the smartphone arena. Having the best, latest and greatest mobile phone now means having one with a camera, a large screen and a good enough battery life for the everyday businessman. In other words, there are better devices turning the customer’s eye away from the once “must-have” smartphone.
Apple, however, is still defying all forecasts. The iPhone has not dropped in sales; nor, according to experts, will it reach a peak or full saturation of the market by the end of 2017. Apple continues to rake in profit with their ever-increasing share of the mobile phone market. There is always a “latest” iPhone to replace older devices bringing in new customers every year. High-growth markets, like China and India, have been taken over by Apple’s iPhone seeing as that there are still enough people sitting in that higher income category in those countries to afford one.
Microsoft’s market share is forecast to grow because of the lower costs they offer. Microsoft has made progress by working with other companies to deliver Windows Phone products at aggressive price points to the consumer. These price points have brought success in the two largest markets of China and the United States, which will help it build momentum in the short term. When it comes to long-term forecasts, it is the Microsoft Chinese arena that will challenge the Samsung market.
In the end, saturation is forecasted, with 2017 in many analysts’ minds being the peak for the United States market. 2017 will see smartphone sales take over 90% of the overall mobile phone sales in the U.S., leaving a mere 10% who still refuse to give up that “good book” they can hold in their hands in order to press a button and read it on-screen.
It will be interesting to see the innovation that is yet to come. Because once you’ve sold to one and all, it is a fact that you will need a new product to fascinate the masses.
Source: GIG News