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Introduction

This report explores the current state of the smartphone market, including forecasts and detailed analysis for the future of the global handset market. The report evaluates the likely strategies of the key manufacturers, as well as looking forward to the potential disruptions to the market over the next few years.

Highlights

  • The smartphone market will see a dramatic shake up as many manufacturers aim to capitalize on Samsung's damaged reputation from the Note 7 recall. Against a backdrop of slowing smartphone growth in developed markets, this could be a rare opportunity for a brand to emerge (or re-emerge) to challenge the Apple-Samsung duopoly in the high end of the market.
  • The Smartphone market will slow to single-digit growth in 2017. The smartphone market is rapidly reaching saturation in many markets; and not just in developed regions. While the market will continue growing for several years, the growth rate will drop to under 10% for the first time in 2017.
  • Pricing competition will intensify as manufacturers struggle to stand out. With a large number of device manufacturers producing devices with little to no differentiation, smartphone prices are dropping very quickly. Despite the continuing shift to smartphones in emerging markets, Ovum expects the average selling price of a smartphone in 2021 will be just under $240, 21% lower than 2015's average selling price of $305.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyses the impact of Samsung's Note 7 recall.
  • Evaluates the remaining potential growth in the smartphone market in emerging countries.
  • Assesses the potential for 5G to change the smartphone market.

Key questions answered

  • How can operators and manufacturers stop the lengthening of the handset upgrade cycle?
  • Which brands are best positioned to capitalize on Samsung's Note 7 misstep?
  • Has Apple reached peak iPhone?

Table of contents

Summary

  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Market status

  • Smartphone market slowing to single digit growth in 2017
  • Pricing competition will intensify as manufacturers struggle to stand out
  • Blackberry and Microsoft finally throw in the towel
  • 5G can be an enabler of design revolution
  • Emerging market dynamics will shape the global market in the medium term

OEM dynamics

  • Samsung can recover, but the Note 7 debacle will leave a mark
  • Apple gets a temporary reprieve
  • Huawei powers forward in emerging markets
  • Other Android brands struggle for oxygen

Market outlook

  • 2017 will be a bloodbath

Appendix

  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

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