Gartner estimates that sales of smartphones
will decline by 2.5 per cent in 2019, which would be the worst decline ever.
Worldwide shipment of devices – PCs, tablets and mobile phones – will total 2.2 billion units in 2019, a decline of 3.3 per cent year over year, according to Gartner, while mobile phones alone will see a fall of 3.8 per cent.
The current mobile phone market of 1.7 billion shipments is around 10 per cent lower than the 1.9 billion shipments reached in 2015.
“If mobile phones don’t provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users won’t upgrade them, and will consequently increase these devices’ life spans,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
As for India’s performance, smartphone shipments in the country grew to 37 million units, a single-digit growth annually during Q2 of 2019, setting a second-quarter shipment record, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. The growth was driven by launches, price cuts on older devices and channel expansion across brands.
“Localisation, branding, and innovation will remain key drivers for growth in a highly competitive market like India. The market will continue to become more concentrated with majority of shares controlled by a few brands leading to a greater number of exits among the long-tail brands in the market, moving forward,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research.
In India, the pricing sweet-spot for consumers has moved to the Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 price band.
Even telecom operators
in India, during their recent quarterly results, had noted that the pace of handset adoption is stagnating over the past few quarters due to higher handset prices and adverse currency fluctuations impacting the cost.
Earlier this year, mobile operators launched 5G
services in parts of the US, South Korea, Switzerland, Finland and the UK, but it will take time for carriers to expand 5G
coverage beyond major cities.