Skip to main content

Smartphones Drive Internet Use in Emerging Markets

According to the latest global study by International Data Corporation (IDC), the combined total market of smartphones, media tablets and PCs is now forecast to grow from 1.8 billion units in 2014 to 2.5 billion units in 2019.

During the forecast period, smartphones will grow to represent the majority of total Smart Connected Device (IDC's term for the combined market) shipments -- dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes.

As recently as 2010, PCs still made up the lion's share of the total device market, with the combined desktop and notebook categories accounting for about 52.5 percent of shipments, versus 44.7 percent for smartphones and 2.8 percent for tablets.

However, by 2014, smartphones had grown to represent 73.4 percent of total shipment, while PCs had slipped to 16.8 percent and tablets had increased to 12.5 percent. By 2019, IDC expects the distribution to be 77.8 percent smartphones, 11.6 percent PCs, and 10.7 percent tablets.

"Smartphone growth continues at an astounding pace, while growth in the PC and tablet markets is proving to be more challenging," said Tom Mainelli, vice president at IDC. "There are clearly some bright spots in both markets."


IDC believes that detachable 2-in-1 devices will show strong growth potential in the tablets category, and convertible notebooks are beginning to gain traction in PCs. But ultimately, for more people in more places, the smartphone is the clear choice in terms of owning one connected device.

According to the IDC assessment, not all smartphone growth will be equal. Going forward, the future of smartphones lies in emerging markets, sub-$100 price points, and phablets.

In 2014, 73 percent of smartphones were shipped to emerging markets, 21 percent were priced below $100, and 12 percent had screen sizes between 5.5 and 7 inches.

By 2019, these categories will all increase  -- 80 percent of smartphones will be shipped to emerging markets, 35 percent will be priced below $100, and 32 percent will have a 5.5 to 7-inch screen size.

So far the overall market has very much focused on premium models and brands, but emerging market consumers are looking for greater value from a single lower-cost (typically open-source Android-based) device.

More likely than not, that single device will be an affordable smartphone or phablet -- they will drive mobile internet use in emerging markets. This emerging market trend will dominate upside growth in the foreseeable future.

Popular posts from this blog

Artificial Intelligence Growth at an Inflection Point

Business technology investment no longer follows a predictable path to growth. The global venture capital (VC) investment in artificial intelligence (AI) was close to its peak in 2021 reaching $22.3 billion, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research. This is just $400 million shy of the historical high of $22.7 billion recorded in 2019. Compared to the $15 billion recorded in 2020, the market made a remarkable recovery, with a 48.5 percent year-on-year growth. Will the future AI marketplace return to stable growth, or will it remain volatile? Artificial Intelligence Market Development "COVID-19 greatly accelerated the speed of digital transformation within the enterprise. Businesses are looking for solutions to work processes automation, customer care, due diligence, transcription and translation, and sales and marketing enablement tools," said Lian Jye Su, research director at ABI Research . At the same time, COVID-19 led to the Great Resignation of 2021

How a Digital-First CEO Leads Transformation

Some leaders reject the notion that "wait and see" is the best response to disruptive change. Savvy senior executives are already driving digital business transformation throughout their organization in an effort to gain a bold strategic advantage. According to the latest market study by International Data Corp (IDC), Digital-First CEOs plan to drive at least half of their income from digital business products, services, and experiences by 2027 -- that's ahead of the market average of 39 percent. Driven by their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these business leaders have changed how they think about the relationship between business and technology, and how they approach the next digital transformation era -- from scaling digital technology to guiding a viable digital business. Digital Business Market Development IDC defines digital business as value creation based on technology, which entails: 1) Automated customer-facing processes and internal operations; 2) Provision

Digital Solutions for Industrial & Manufacturing Firms

Executive leaders of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are seeking guidance on how to apply new business technology in their manufacturing operations. CIOs and CTOs are tasked with gaining insight into the best solutions for digital transformation. ABI Research evaluated the impact politics, regulation, the economy, supply chain, ESG, and technology are having on FMCG, pharma, producers of steel, chemicals, pulp and paper -- as well as the mining and oil & gas sectors. Digital Transformation Market Development "Our assessment found that the FMCG sector is under pressure from all sides," says Michael Larner, industrial & manufacturing research director at ABI Research . Securing raw materials is challenging considering lockdowns in China and limited grain supplies from Ukraine. Supply shocks are raising input costs, and operating costs are rising with higher energy costs coupled with the pressure to pay higher wages and work sustainably. "We all hoped that with th