While worldwide smartphone shipments registered an year-over-year growth of just 2.5-percent in 2016, the worst ever for the industry, the shipments are expected to increase by 3 percent year-over-year to 1.5 billion units in 2017, as per the latest report by IDC. The data firm believes that this growth will be fuelled by the improved economic conditions in many emerging markets.
"2016 was an interesting year for smartphones with some high-growth markets down and other mature markets like the U.S. and China outpacing global growth rates," Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, was quoted as saying in the IDC report. "Looking ahead, we continue to believe several factors will enable the smartphone market to regain some of its momentum," Reith added.
Among the reasons mentioned for the expected rebound, Reith said that markets including the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia still have plenty of room to grow. Further, as consumers continue to expect more out of their smartphones, they can be expected to seek more capable devices, as per the explanation provided by Reith.
Addressing the competition among high-end smartphones, IDC acknowledged that Samsung has made a lot of "noise" with its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ flagships but didn't fail to point out that the next round of iPhones can possibly become the biggest announcements in a long time.
"Despite the massive growth of the low-end smartphone market in the past few years, IDC still fully expects the high-end market will continue to hold its place in the industry. Advancements in computing, display technology, cameras, and storage will continue to create the need for high-end users to refresh their devices," IDC said in its release.
As per the data shared by IDC, among the 1.5 billion units of smartphones expected to be sold in 2017, 85 percent will be Android powered.