According to the latest estimates of IDC, growth of smartphone shipments will almost zero in 2016 : the total should amount to 1.45 billion devices, an improvement of just 0.6 percent from last year. In 2015, the growth compared to 2014 was 10.5 percent.
However, will increase decisively smartphones with 4G LTE connectivity, surpassing the wall of one billion units (namely 1.17 billion) and growing by 21.3 percent over the year last year, thanks to more widespread adoption of this technology in emerging markets. As for the mature markets like the European, Japanese and North American, LTE is now almost ubiquitous : according to estimates will occupy 94 percent of the market at the end of 2016, against 85 percent in 2015.
Here are the considerations of IDC regarding individual platforms:
Android – the system’s dominant position is now more than true; Android will be one of the protagonists of growth of LTE smartphones in emerging markets due to its competitive prices and wide competition. The most interesting for us, however, is Google’s entry into the smartphone market, for the first time in direct competition with Samsung, Apple and all the others. For now, however, the volumes of shipments generated by Pixel and Pixel XL are not likely to worry the market leader.
iOS – it is likely that this is the first year that will see a contraction of shipments . Despite the good results of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus the previous three quarters have all been negative, and IDC expects further declines in the fourth. Of course, the expectation is very high for the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. Competition at low cost remains the main problem Apple, and Google’s entry into the premium segment will not help for sure.
Windows – apart from the return of HP in the smartphone market with Elite X3 the key innovations are few. IDC forecasts an overall contraction of 79.1 percent in 2016 from last year, due to the continuous decline of the support of third-party manufacturers. Despite repeated rumors of a Surface Phone built by Microsoft (a yesterday and rather importantly, by the way), to IDC the problem continues to be the ecosystem of apps.