The United States no longer leads the world in smartphone shipments, according to IDC.
China will end the year just a shade ahead in terms of market share. China will see 20.7 per cent of the world’s 2012 smartphone shipments, while the U.S. market receives 20.6 per cent.
Over the next few years, the global smartphone market will become increasingly concentrated in developing economies. By 2016, China, Brazil, and India will together account for a full 34 per cent of smartphone shipments.
China’s share will actually remain steady at around one-fifth of the world’s total over that period. It is Brazil and India that will see breakneck growth, and double or triple their market share. Between 2012 and 2016, India will grow its share from 2.9 per cent of global smartphone shipments to 9.3 per cent, while Brazil ramps up to 4.7 per cent from 2.3 per cent.
But that doesn’t mean it will be an easy feat to monetise all the new mobile consumers. Our recent report on mobile in the BRIC countries— Brazil, Russia, India, China— describes how lack of credit card penetration and app store fragmentation hampers the mobile ecosystem in these countries.