There's no doubt that smartphone growth is going to slow down in the coming years, as many people across the globe are getting increasingly easier access to these devices. A new IDC report states that while growth in the smartphone market is still going to rise for the year of 2015 with shipments expected to grow by about 10.4 percent, this is a slower growth rate compared to the previous year by more than half, as the report notes 2014's growth percentage for smartphones shipped was at 27.5 percent. For 2015 this boils down to a total of 1.44 billion smartphone units globally. IDC also predicted that growth would be about 11.3 percent for 2015 so these numbers are a little bit below what they initially imagined.
The report also notes that China is currently the largest smartphone market for units shipped and will continue to be for the duration of the forecast period which lasts through 2019 or basically over the next four years. In 2019 however, China's share of the smartphone market is expected to be overtaken by India as it's more an emerging market that has much more room to expand. As it continues to do so over the forecast period, China's share of the market at the end of the forecast period is slated to fall to about 23.1 percent. IDC's Program Director Ryan Reith states "China clearly remains a very important market. However, the focus will be more on exports than consumption as domestic growth slows significantly. India has captured a lot of the attention that China previously received and it's now the market with the most potential upside."
Although smartphone growth is slowing down right now, growth is expected to pick back up in 2019 as the average cost (average selling prices) of smartphones continue to decrease to lower amounts. This in particular is going to make it easier for many more consumers in emerging markets obtain a smartphone and help drive shipments back upward. In regards to shipment volumes broken down by mobile OS platform, Android still holds the largest share here with the report estimating 2015 shipment volumes of 1,164.3 (recorded in the millions) translating to an 81.1 percent market share for this year.