Trends 17: The Smartphone Squeeze

Compared to 6 years ago, global demand in the smartphone market has changed. Homegrown mobile brands in the east have muscled their way in alongside Apple and Samsung, leading to a downward pressure on price.

GWI’s year-on-year data for purchasing of mobiles confirms a recent slowdown in demand among existing internet users, with rates having peaked in 2013. But this overarching global trend distorts some vital nuances.

As a share of year-on-year global mobile purchases, the mature market regions of Europe and North America have stagnated or contracted as mobile adoption reaches saturation point (consumers here are typically upgrading their existing phones at a leisurely pace, with very few of them left still to purchase a phone for the first time).

Crucially, China has also seen a slowdown here, and while India’s individual share of global smartphone purchasers may still be overshadowed by China’s, its striking rate of growth already – as well its forecastable numbers for future years – make it a key country to watch.

Download a free copy of our Trends 2017 report here.