Although market saturation continues to slow growth, markets such as India and China will push sales to 1.5bn units this year
This year is set to see the slowest growth in smartphone sales on record as the world becomes increasingly flooded with mobile devices, figures from Gartner have claimed.
Overall, the analyst firm says that 2016 will see a seven percent growth in worldwide smartphone sales to reach 1.5 billion units, a significant drop from the 14.4 per cent growth seen in 2015 and the 73 percent in 2010.
Rise and fall
However this slowing growth does not mean that overall sales are set to begin dropping, as Gartner predicts that by 2020, smartphone sales will total 1.9 billion units.
Much of this increase will come from boosted sales in the East, particularly in China and India, as these potentially huge markets go mobile.
Noting that India has “the highest growth potential,” of any major market, Gartner estimates that 139 million smartphones will be sold in the country during 2016, signifying a 29.5 percent year on year increase.
In China, after a boom 2014 that saw sales grow 16 percent, smartphone sales were flat in 2015, with Gartner expecting this trend to continue, especially as sales of smartphones in the country represented 95 percent of total mobile phone sales in 2015
“The worldwide smartphone market remains complex and competitive for all mobile phone vendors, and we are not expecting the vendor landscape to get smaller,” said Gartner analyst Annette Zimmermann.
“In such a fluid vendor landscape, some will exit the market while newcomers, including mobile manufacturers or internet service providers from China and India, could make their debut.”
In comparison, Gartner estimates that mature markets such as Western Europe and North America have reached 90 percent penetration, slowing the possibility of future growth, particularly as users in these regions are not replacing or upgrading their smartphone as often as in previous years.
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