Imitating the phenomenon which occurred a decade ago, when feature phones sales in developing nations was at the peak, the emerging markets are again set to ouster the developed market in the sales of smartphones, indicates the GfK Target Setter projections. The reports, covered 70 digital device types globally, suggest USA, Germany, UK, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Italy will be displaced by third world nations like Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Though the overall market for sales of tech devices is predicted to remain at par with last year at one trillion USD, the market share of nations like India, China and other APAC nations are going to witness an underlying combined increase of US$10 billion. The report also suggests the sale of feature phones will witness a further decline of about 20% in terms of units sold and around 30% in terms of revenue. Though The APAC and Middle East will see some silver lining in the feature phone market.
According to the projections, Indian markets seem the most promising zone for sale of smartphones and this will help India to record an overall growth of 16% in the total digital devices market, accounting for US$4.8 billion increase in 2015 over 2014.
Although the growth percentile for China is only 1%, it occupies a whopping US$199 billion market in 2014. The figure is huge compared to other emerging markets like Brazil claiming a share of only US$39 billion or India with a share of US$30 billion. Interestingly, the countries with a relatively lesser population like Philippines, Bangladesh and Nigeria are displaying a greater growth percentile.
The ASEAN region is also identified as a consumer hub, which the smartphone makers are targeting. According to reports, markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia saw a cumulative sale of 120 million smartphones unit.
In 2015, sales of smartphones, worldwide, will be increased by 18% as compare to 2014. Interestingly, this growth would be largely driven by most of the small and developing markets who would leapfrog many countries leading in the chart in 2014. India is forecasted to top the list of Top 10 Smartphone markets for growth by value in 2015, leapfrogging China, USA, Japan and UK. Few of the top smartphone markets in 2014, such as Japan, US, UK, South Korea and Russia, would fall out of the list in 2015 by making way to new emerging smartphone markets, such as Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Vietnam and Bangladesh, which are forecasted to record higher growth.
The impact on Indian Sub continent:
The advent of new players in the market, who have led to the drastic decline of mid-range smartphones and defined new parameters of pricing in India, combined with the steep popularity of smartphones, due to which people tend to favor the price jump while upgrading from a feature phone to smart phone, seems to be the likely factor for India reaching the top rungs of the ladder in smartphone markets.
The pricing issue as addressed by major key players like Xiaomi, Huawei and Motorola in the mobile industry, has opened a plethora of options for the lower end market and the mid range market is also seen gradually migrating towards the budget smartphones. The consumer base in the emerging markets is more interested in buying value for money products and these companies are striking gold by introducing smartphones for as low as US$105. Naturally, when customers can reap the benefits of a high mid range phone at an entry level price they are attracted to buy these devices irrespective of the brand. That’s the reason why the Moto G and Xiaomi handsets in India sold like hot cakes the moment sale went live on Flipkart.
Compared to the developed markets where smart phone adoption is nearly saturated, it was inevitable to see a boom in the emerging markets. Homegrown players in the Indian subcontinent like Micromax, Lava, Xiaomi, Vivo etc will look to garner this new customer base and the stalwarts of mobile industry like Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG will need to take some drastic measures to retain the market share. The average selling price of mobile handsets is on the down curve ever since device makers have come up with low budget smartphones and feature phones.
With fierce competition ensuing between the reigning moguls and the dark horses of the mobile industry, the ultimate winner in the war of price and quality will be the consumers.