Globally the smartphone market is no longer expanding. IDC forecasts an increase of just 1.8% in units to 2023, with volumes rising over the 1.5 billion unit threshold annually after a dip this year. Where does that leave emerging markets, which for many years were a motor of growth?
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.4 percent, total shipments of smartwatches, smart glasses, fitness & activity trackers, smart clothing, mobile telecare and medical devices as well as other wearable devices are forecasted to reach 238.5 million units in 2023.
Smartphone demand has slowed due to market saturation in most North American and European countries, so the primary opportunities there stem from device replacement. Forrester forecasts that these economies will add no more than 91 million new smartphone subscribers.
According to the latest market study by Berg Insight, the market for consumer GPS pet trackers and services in Europe and North America is forecast to grow from € 60 million in 2017 to reach about € 340 million in 2022.
“A product that took 12 to 18 months for a Western company to bring to market might take only four to six weeks within the Shanzhai ecosystem. It was common for Western companies that announced a new gadget to find Shanzhai versions of it on the shelves before they could put it on sale themselves.”
Global shipments of wearable devices are forecast to reach 125.3 million units in 2018, that’s up 8.5% from 2017. The growing popularity of smartwatches and greater wearables adoption in emerging markets will combine to produce a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% with shipments reaching 189.9 million units in 2022.