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Smartphone prices are dropping, and will continue to dip through '18

Matt Hamblen | May 30, 2014
That's true even for the iPhone, says IDC

Even with share declines, both Android and iOS will see their smartphone shipments increase by 12% and 10%, respectively, in each of the next four years as overall sales continue to rise.

Because emerging markets are driving overall market growth in the next four years, Apple is the least prepared to take advantage of that shift. "The appetite for smartphones in these markets is at the sub-$200 level, significantly below Apple's selling prices," IDC noted. Apple will continue to be strong in mature markets like the U.S., where major carriers heavily subsidize prices when a customer agrees to a two-year contract.

Windows Phone, while just 3.5% of the market now, is expected to grow from 43 million phones shipped in 2014 to 115 million in 2018. Its overall growth will be 28% per year, ahead of the overall market's growth of 12% annually.

IDC predicted BlackBerry shipments will reach just 4.6 million phones in 2018, half the 9.7 million units expected to ship this year. IDC added, "the only way the company will be viable is likely through a niche approach based on its security assets."


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