Emerging markets to fuel smartphone growth

Emerging markets to fuel smartphone growth

Analyst company Canalys reported the smartphone market is showing signs of recovery predicting a lower decline in 2023, and growth will be pushed by emerging markets next year. 

Global shipments were predicted to dip 5% year-on-year to 1.13 billion units this year, an improvement on the decline of 12% in 2022. 

The lower decline is due to stabilisation and growth in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America this year. In 2024, 1.17 billion units are expected to ship representing a growth rate of 4% in 2023. 

Canalys senior analyst Toby Zhu said the smartphone sector is “emerging from its darkest days” even though shipments are 20% below the 2017 peak. Consumers are also buying more expensive devices as average selling prices are now exceeding US$440 compared to US$332 in 2017. 

“Profitability is looking up for hardware makers strategically launching flashy new features to captivate consumers in key growth markets,” said Zhu. 

Fuelled by emerging markets

“The smartphone rebound in 2024 will be fuelled by emerging markets, where the devices remain integral to connectivity, entertainment and productivity,” added Sanyam Chaurasia, Senior Analyst at Canalys. 

“One in three smartphones shipped in 2024 will be purchased in the Asia Pacific versus only one in five back in 2017. This region will also witness some of the fastest growth at 6% year-over-year, driven by resurging demand in India, Southeast Asia and South Asia. As macroeconomic conditions and consumer confidence stabilise in these countries, smartphone upgradation will accelerate.” 

Canalys tipped Chinese vendors including Honor and Xiaomi to “aggressively expand outside of Greater China” due to improving business conditions. 

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