The global smartphone industry showed trends of improvement in 2018. According to a report from GFK, global smartphone sales increased 5% amounting to $522 billion in 2018. However, it’s the contribution of the APAC region which is no less than a surprise. A whopping $254 billion worth of the smartphones sold in the Asia Pacific region alone!
The report also highlights the total number of smartphone sold in the APAC region, which amounted to 732 million units, making it the world’s largest region in terms of smartphone consumers.
Global Smartphone Sales 2018: China Drove The Growth
The growth of the global smartphone market is largely driven by the sales of smartphones in the APAC region. The main contributors, however, are India and China.
Just like the population graph, India and China have dominated the global smartphone industry as well, maintaining their first and second spots, respectively. China accounted for 60% of the total smartphone market value of the APAC, and 54% of the market volume.
India came a distant second as the total smartphone sales in the country clocked over 161 million units, amounting to $28.5 billion, which helped India to capture 11.2% of the total smartphone market by value in the APAC region.
This represents an overall increase of 19% and 21% in the sales volume and value, respectively.
The above stats very well point out how far ahead the Chinese smartphone industry is from the rest, in spite of lukewarm iPhone sales the country recorded in 2018. Even Tim Cook claimed that the overall revenue estimation in fiscal Q1 2019 was going down because of a lack of iPhone sales in China.
The contribution of India to the global smartphone market depicts the influence of the world’s fastest-growing mobile market on the Asia Pacific as well as the global smartphone market. This influence is reinforced by the number of smartphone brands, currently operating in India, which competes for every price segment in the smartphone market. Xiaomi’s dominance in India and Huawei’s year-over-year growth in smartphones shipments, globally are examples of that. However, USA’s recent trade aversions to the Chinese brands might pose a threat to their influence, making them take the shady route.
Global Luxury Smartphone Market: Promising Future
About 12% of the smartphones sold globally in 2018 belonged to a price bracket above $800. We can safely categorize them into the luxury smartphone segment. It results in an increase from 9% last year.
Smartphones price tagged between $150 and $400 emerged as the most popular one. The segment accounted for 46% of the global smartphones sales in 2018.
The rise in the luxury segment of the smartphones points towards the trend that the global smartphone market is experiencing more sales in value as well as volume year on year. With the increasing number of players, the share of premium and luxury smartphones is expected to swell in 2019 and further.
As the first time smartphone users have started graduating, we can expect a significant rise in the number of upgrading smartphone users. However, as the smartphone market in the developed countries has almost hit to a saturation point, it would be interesting to see if the developing markets, such as India and Africa, could keep the future growth of global smartphone sales intact.