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China will displace the U.S. as the largest smartphone market this year, according to a new study from ABI Research. Brazil and India are also forecasted to be in the top four countries for smartphone shipments by 2018. Smartphone vendor interest and the strategies of the smartphone value chain are shifting accordingly.
Russia is expected to come in as the 11th largest smartphone market in 2013, and will climb to seventh in 2018. “With room to grow, the emerging BRIC nations are displacing established markets such as the U.S. and Japan as market leaders in terms of smartphone shipments,” said Michael Morgan, senior analyst.
ABI Research forecasts that the top five countries in 2018 will account for 51% of worldwide smartphone shipments, while the BRIC countries will account for 33% of smartphone shipments. By 2018, Western Europe and North America’s combined share of smartphone shipments will be 33% (equal to BRIC), down from 39% in 2013. Growth of the smartphone market over the next five years will depend on operators and handset OEMs delivering optimized and price appropriate solutions to the BRIC consumers.
In terms of total handset shipments, the BRIC countries are already in the top five, but have lagged in their global smartphone share. Over the past two years, Android has paired with low-cost hardware, thus opening the door to increasingly lower ASPs for smartphones. “When you look at operating system share in emerging markets, you tend to find that Android has been busy fulfilling its mission to bring the Internet to consumers who can’t afford a traditional PC or Laptop,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director.
For additional information, visit www.abiresearch.com.
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