The law of diminishing returns dictates that everything is bound to reach its limit at some level and eventually stabilize or even slow down. Global smartphone sales are no exception to this principle. As a matter of fact, as reported by IDC, a US based market research firm, global smartphone sales are expected to continue to slow down in 2015 in terms of growth.
IDC's analysis suggests that the volume of shipments of smartphones worldwide will grow just 11.3 percent this year -- that is definitely not an improvement over last year's 27.6 growth rate. 11.3 percent is pretty consistent with what IDC predicted earlier this year, which is at 11.8 percent. According to market research firm, the main factors behind this dip in growth is the fact that China has appeared to have reach a saturation point in its mobile market. The Chinese market is considered by many to be the biggest mobile market in the world, but it seems that this year will mark the first time that China's smartphone growth (only 2.5 percent now) will be slower compared to that of the global smartphone market.
The slowing down of China's smartphone growth will also have an effect on the growth of the Android mobile operating system. IDC states that Google's OS will see slower growth this year, even slower than the current worldwide market (8.5 percent). As for iOS, it remains relatively unscathed for now. Apple did post very impressive Chinese smartphone sales, in part spurred by the release of its two newest flagship devices, both of which feature large display screens (a growing trend today).
The Chinese smartphone market is still the largest in the world in terms of sheer volume. But recent figures do show that smartphone sales are really decreasing, the first time this has happened in the region in almost a decade. Interestingly, even though it is the world's largest market for smartphones, many still consider China as an emerging market, as opposed to a mature market like the US, the United Kingdom, and Japan. But some industry watchers argue that the Chinese market is actually maturing now, with a significant chunk of its mobile using population now ready to graduate from being first time smartphone owners to those that need to upgrade their existing handsets.
Still there is hope for the global smartphone market. Emerging markets like India, Indonesia, the Middle East, and South Africa are all showing growth. But inevitably, these markets too will succumb to the law of diminishing returns.
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