Smart Phone and Tablet State of Sales
Germany-based GfK analysts reported that a total of 1.2 billion smart phones were soled in 2014–up 23% from 2013. This marks the first time the sale of smart phones has crossed the 1 billion figure. Additionally, GFK predicted that smart phone sales in 2015 will slow down—an estimated 1.368 billion smart phones are predicted to be sold, just up 14% from 2014–because many countries are reaching their smart phone saturation point.
With many countries reaching this saturation point, companies will be looking to expand in two main areas: markets where smart phones are still being adopted; and people upgrading to newer models with larger screens.
Regions such as Latin America and emerging Asia Pacific countries saw the greatest growth. Consumers in Latin America bought nearly 110 million smart phones in 2014—59% more than 2013. And emerging Asia Pacific countries bought nearly 150 million—55% more than 2013. Compare this to countries such as China, which sold nearly 400 million smart phones in 2014. However, that number was only up 9% from 2013. North America seems to have found a “happy medium” though, considering sales of smart phones were up 28% in 2014.
And while 2014 finished off with explosive overall growth in the smart phone industry, it didn’t start out that way. In fact, excluding North America, the majority of mobile phone buyers were still buying feature phones. GFK estimates that at the end of 2011, 68% of mobile phones were feature phones, 18% Android, and 14% other smart phones (this includes Apple’s I devices). However, at the end of 2014 those numbers had practically flipped in favor of smart phones—57% Android, 29% feature phone, and 14% other.
In 2015, the group of consumers thought to be the largest segment for smart phone sales growth are those who upgrade to phones with larger screens. Sales of smart phones with screens 5” and larger were up 180% in 2014. This explosive growth has cut into the tablet market. Acording to the International Data Corporation, 229.6 million tablets were shipped worldwide–a 4.4% overall growth in 2014. Apple alone controlled 28.1% of the tablet market, with Samsung controlling 17.4%.
What do you say? Have you recently upgraded to a smart phone with a larger screen? If you have a smart phone with a large screen, do you have any interest in buying a tablet? If you already have a tablet and phone with a larger screen, do you think you’ll use your tablet less? Let us know in the comments below!