Low, mid-range smartphones to drive sector
CNATAIPEI -- High-end smartphones have reached a market saturation point, leaving low-end and mid-range models to drive worldwide growth in 2013, a research report said Wednesday.
August 22, 2013, 11:40 am TWN
Market information advisory firm DisplaySearch forecast in the report that shipments of low-end and mid-range smartphones will climb by an annual 37 percent this year to 958 million units, accounting for more than 50 percent of total smartphone shipments worldwide.
Models priced at below US$400 are expected to hit 530 million units, increasing more than 60 percent from the previous year, the report said.
Smartphones are expected to make up 55 percent of this year's total cell phone shipments, which are likely to rise by an annual 4 percent to 1.73 billion, DisplaySearch said in the report.
For first time, smartphone shipments will surpass feature phones, due mainly to growing sales of low-end and mid-range smartphone models, the advisory firm forecast.
It said 2013 shipments of Apple Inc.'s iPhone are expected to rise by an annual 10 percent, representing moderate growth compared with 46 percent in 2012.
The slowing growth of iPhone shipments signals saturation of the high-end smartphone market in the U.S. and Europe, the report said.
Meanwhile, Apple has been unable to increase its smartphone share in the emerging markets because low-end and mid-range models are being better received, according to DisplaySearch.
Apple is not an isolated case, however, as its competitors such as HTC, Nokia, Blackberry, Motorola, and Samsung have also seen a drop in shipments of their high-end models, the report added.
In an attempt to take advantage of the situation, Chinese brands and other second-tier makers have been competing for dominance in the low-end and mid-range market, the report said.
Furthermore, it said, the rising popularity of low-end and mid-range smartphones has forced component suppliers to change their business strategy by catering to vendors of those models.
By 2015, smartphones priced at over US$400 will account for less than 30 percent of high-end shipments, compared with 53 percent in 2012, according to DisplaySearch.