The global smartphone market at large is still growing at a strong, steady pace. But those numbers are being driven by very different trends on a market-by-market basis.
Countries with massive populations but less developed mobile markets — namely China and India — stand to continue having a heavy influence on overall smartphone market growth.
In China, Android still dominates thanks to the rise of home-grown vendors Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi. But the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as an expanded iPhone mix, helped boost Apple in this market in the fourth quarter of 2014.
In India, growth is explosive, and competition among vendors is gaining steam. Top global players are losing out to a host of homegrown vendors that are fighting for significant shares of the market.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we take a look at how the platform and vendor wars are shaking up in eight major mobile markets, and discuss the opportunity for even more shake-ups and future growth based on current and future smartphone penetration in each market. We also break down China’s slowing momentum and discuss India’s rise as the next high-growth smartphone market.
Here are a few key points about how things are shaking up in each market:
- Apple’s massive fourth-quarter sales of the new iPhone 6 globally failed to give the company much traction in its home country. Apple lost .1% market share in the US, more than any other platform.
- Android increased its stronghold throughout the EU-5 region over the course of 2014, but the iPhone 6 helped Apple surge back in the fourth quarter. Apple’s share of smartphone sales across the EU-5 jumped to 24%.
- Windows Phone has seen a notable resurgence in Europe and continues to thrive there. It has firmly entrenched itself as the third-place platform.
- In the UK, Apple’s strongest EU market, the iPhone 6 helped iOS catapult to a 42% share of sales in the fourth quarter, up from a 30% share a year prior.
- The world’s largest mobile market, China, shipped roughly 460 million smartphones in 2014, or a 35% share of the entire global market. Going forward we expect China smartphone shipments to grow by an average 8% annually through 2020, slower than overall global smartphone shipments growth.
- China is extremely fragmented on the vendor side. No vendor cracked even 15% market share in the second quarter.
- The Indian smartphone market is becoming the next important market for growth, and competition among vendors is gaining steam. India accounted for 7% of global smartphone shipments in 2014, and that share will rise to 15% in 2020.
In full, the report:
- Gives an updated look at smartphone penetration in 2014 and an estimate for 2015 across eight major mobile markets.
- Discusses the US and its fast-track to saturation and what it means for platforms and vendors.
- Surveys the smartphone landscape in Europe’s five largest markets.
- Quantifies China’s effect on the global smartphone market, breaks down its slowing momentum, and looks at the fragmented vendor landscape in the country.
- Examines India’s growing role in the global smartphone market’s future growth.