EETimes.com – Asia to take 39% of smartphone market in 2015, says IMS

EETimes.com – Asia to take 39% of smartphone market in 2015, says IMS.


EE Times

LONDON — Annual smartphone shipments in Asia will quadruple by 2015, giving Asia 39 percent of smartphone shipments during 2015, according to market research company IMS Research Ltd. (Wellingborough, England).The growth will be driven by strong demand in China and India and this will present a challenge to the traditional smartphone vendors and an opportunity for competition as well as opening up a large grey market, the firm said.

Overall shipments of smartphones are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 25.9 percent between 2009 and 2015.

In 2009 Asia was responsible for 60.2 million smartphone shipments, 33 percent of the global figure of 182.4 million. In 2015 IMS expects Asia to see 277.2 million smartphone shipments or 39 percent of a global market size of 710.8 million shipments.

Chris Schreck, IMS analyst, said in a statement that two factors were contributing to the growth in Asia. One are the sizes of the Chinese and Indian markets. The second is that smartphones are coming down in price due to economies of scale and are therefore ceasing to be luxury items and more accessible in those large Asian markets.

“It would be unwise to expect the smartphone market to develop along the same lines as it did in Europe or North America,” said Schreck, in a statement. “Companies like Motorola, who had to change the default search provider from Google to Microsoft on its Android smartphones in China, or Apple, whose iPhone sales in Japan lagged without the inclusion of NFC, have shown the need to adapt products to compete in these markets. Additionally, there is increasing competition from Asian handset vendors like Huawei, ZTE, HTC, and Acer in the Asian smartphone space. Finally, the grey market for mobile handsets is much more established in Asia than in western markets, giving consumers viable alternatives to more conventional handset purchasing methods. These challenges are opening up a booming smartphone market to players who have had trouble competing with entrenched competitors in developed western markets.”

IMS Research defines smartphones as mobile handsets that utilize an open architecture operating system and the company said it expects that a majority of smartphone shipments to Asia will be feature an average selling price of under $120 before subsidies or taxes.

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As low end market in China and India grows, more “white label” cell phone will be popular due to cost pressure. In this domain, second tier modem chip companies will get more benefit rather than first tiers. As high end market grows in already developed market such as US, Europe, Korea and Japan, the price pressure from the 2nd tier modem companies will be very strong, thus margin for even high end phone will drop, or even first tier market share will decrease.

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