The average selling price (ASP) of smartphones never rose more quickly than in the third quarter of the year, research firm GfK said on Tuesday based on the Point of Sales data it compiled during the three-month period ending September 30. Smartphone ASP was up by seven percentage points on an annual basis in Q3 2017 which is the biggest jump that GfK ever recorded. ASP growth outpaced unit sales, with the market research firm estimating that approximately 366.6 million smartphones were sold in Q3 2017, marking a three percent year-on-year increase. Those same devices generated $116.8 billion in sales, ten percent more than the smartphone industry achieved in Q3 2016.
Despite being one of the most saturated phone markets on the planet, device vendors still saw their revenues grow in Western Europe during the last quarter. Total sales value in the region increased by four percent, whereas smartphone sales dropped by seven percentage points to 30.9 million units. This state of affairs is explained by the market's natural inclination toward high-end models that cost significantly more than their mid-range and entry-level counterparts. Every eighth handset sold in Western Europe in the third quarter of the year had a price tag north of $900, GfK found, suggesting that ultra-premium smartphones were hence twice as popular than they were in the same period last year. The overall selection of expensive products is also larger than it was in 2016, with the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 and the recently launched Huawei Mate 10 Pro (that wasn't sold in Q3) essentially redefining the concept of an expensive mobile device, and the upcoming Apple iPhone X being set to do the same.
Smartphone revenue and demand in China grew by 20 and five percent, respectively, with the ASP increasing by 15 percentage points during Q3 2017 and amounting to 117 million units. The largest smartphone market in the world is still growing to a degree and is expected to see a four percent demand increase in 2017 as a whole, GfK said. The analytics firm believes that its latest set of data effectively illustrates how convoluted the global smartphone market truly is and how researching individual regions before making any major financial commitments is of paramount importance to all mobile device vendors.