Although global demand for smartphones declined 3 percent in 2018 to 1.44 billion units, sales remained flat and reached $ 522 billion.These conclusions are launched by GfK at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona.
Smartphones also sold well in 2018. In figures, it is equivalent to a 5% increase ($ 522 billion).However, demand for smartphones in 2018 dropped 3 percent to 1.44 billion units sold worldwide from 2017. Smartphones are the most important category of the global market last year. Market share is expected to increase by one percent in 2019. Figures for the T4 2018 show a similar trend. Approximately 375 million smartphones (less than 7%) were sold worldwide at $ 144 billion worldwide compared to the same period last year.
While the premium category continues to be the growth engine, the lack of innovations says its word
Only about 12% (from 9% in 2017) of the smartphones sold in 2018 had a cost of over $ 800 per unit. The average price segment (150-400 dollars) continues to lead a fierce battle, with 46% of global sales (from 44% in 2017).
Technological convergence allows richer experiences
The GfK Consumer Life study shows that consumer habits change when it comes to the products we own. Consumers "prefer to own fewer but better quality products" for which they are willing to pay premiums and "value their experiences more than owning goods." Whether it's memory size, screen size or a megapixel camera, these innovations do not ignite consumer imagination and stimulate demand.
Igor Richter, GfK's telecom expert, says: "Our study shows that while the new smartphone features bring comparable performances to laptops, these high-end specifications still need to be converted into new experiences. High end games dominated the PC industry and are currently a major source of growth. However, there is an unexploited potential for more challenging games for the smartphone. Despite smaller screens for smartphones compared to PCs, faster processors, good resolution displays and superior battery performance make these smartphones ideal for gaming experience on the go. This explains why 55% of smartphone users around the world have played games on their smartphone for the past 30 days. "
Wearables continued strong growth trend, with + 35% worth. The increase was supported by smart card smart cards that account for most of the sales value in the category - 17%, from 8% in 2017.
Growing demand in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, decline in China
The Chinese market is the world's largest consumer of smartphones, all the more so as the country of origin for local brands that become global. 40% of Chinese smartphone brands were purchased outside China in 2018, 31% more than in 2016. The decline in Chinese demand in Q4 2018 (-27% of sales value) has a significant impact on global figures. Demand continued to rise in emerging Asian countries (+ 13%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+ 3%), which only partially offset the decline in China in Q4 2018.
Methodology of the GfK study
This research is based on GfK's final sales data at all-year sales points 2018. Market size is calculated by monitoring sales points in 75 countries with weekly and monthly updates. Long-term consumer goods market includes telecoms, small and large telecoms, IT and electronics.
*The Asian emerging countries included in the analysis: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippine, Thailand, Vietnam.