Singapore and Hong Kong, February 13, 2014 – After 9 consecutive quarters of explosive growth, which propelled China into the top smartphone market in the world, the China smartphone market experience its first slowdown in 2013 Q4.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipped 90.8 million units compared to 94.8 million in 2013 Q3, declining by 4.3% quarter on quarter (see Figure 1). Several factors drove this stumble – for one, China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network went live on December 18, translating into supplies of 4G handsets not able to reach the market fully until 2014 Q1. The increasing popularity of phablets and channel inventory also played a role, whereby operators cut phone subsidies on phones with smaller screens, triggering distribution channels looking to clear out those stocks.
“The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world’s smartphone growth and this is the first hiccup we’ve seen in an otherwise stellar growth path,” says Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.
“There will certainly be future drivers to unlock further smartphone growth in China, as Apple demonstrated with its China Mobile tie-up in January, and the massive device migration to come of phones only supporting 2G and 3G networks to devices supporting 4G networks. However, we are now starting to see a market that is becoming less about capturing the low-hanging fruit of first time smartphone users and moving into the more laborious process of convincing existing users why they should upgrade to this year’s model”
Looking ahead at the prospects for the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region, with mature Asia/Pacific markets like already having hit market saturation and China growth facing more moderate increases, two trends will become more prominent.
The mobile economy is growing at a faster rate than previously expected while also showing signs of maturity, meaning there is still significant upside potential for companies in core sectors even as challenges multiply, according to a new report from Yankee Group.
The mobile economy will be valued at $3.1 trillion by 2017, which is $200 million more than Yankee Group forecasted in Oct. 2012. The quick ramp up will ensure that mobile remains the preeminent driver of technology growth for the foreseeable future, meaning all companies will need to adapt and embrace the opportunity or risk getting left behind.
“It’s important to look at a healthy cross-section of trends and metrics to really understand that we are still on the on-ramp of the mobility revolution,” said Rich Karpinski, senior analyst at Yankee Group, Boston, and co-author of the report.
“There is plenty of room for opportunity and growth, even as some markets, for instance, the U.S. mobile operator market reaching 50 percent cross-over point for data revenues, reach relative maturity,” he said.
The smartphone market’s been kind of a mess lately.
Between Apple’s big iPhone shortfall, the slowdown at Samsung and the financial messes at HTC, BlackBerry and Motorola, there just hasn’t been much good news out there.
If that sounds depressing, then stop reading now because the tablet market looks like it just hit the skids, too.
Before we go further, let’s remember that we’re dealing with a single data point here, so take any associated doom-and-gloom forecasts you may hear with a grain of salt.
Let’s get to it.
So Wednesday morning, our friends at IDC reported that the tablet market grew by just 28.2 percent in Q4.
IDC filled us in on the problems:
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the US are reaching high levels of consumer saturation, and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth, this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets, at IDC. “We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment — brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar — point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond.”
Global mobile advertising is projected to rise 37.4 percent in 2014 to reach spending of $18 billion.
Brazil and Russia will be among the front-runners of this growing industry, as technology advances and large emerging economies stabilize. Meanwhile, mobile advertising in China and India will increase heavily due to expansion of the middle class.
Here’s an overview and some tips on mobile advertising opportunities in BRIC nations.
The number of smartphone users continues to grow in Brazil. Almost 16 million smartphones were purchased in Brazil in 2012 and another 21 million bought in 2013. It was projected that 5 million tablets would be purchased in 2013 and that about 67 million Brazilians would utilize the mobile Internet.
This evidence clearly shows the importance of implementing mobile advertising campaigns in Brazil.
When delving into a mobile campaign in Brazil, take note that the leading operating system for smartphones is Android. Android dominates the industry by making up 56 percent of the market share with Nokia following with 31.5 percent of market share.
Brazilians are receptive to mobile advertisements, according to Nielsen’s Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot study. Brazilians enjoy ads that: Contain geographically relevant information Don’t send them to a website out of the app. Give them access to free content. Use simple text or multimedia.
Most Brazilians use smartphones for gaming apps, social media apps, and maps.
One in three Americans now owns a tablet, or 35 percent of the population aged 16 and older. At the same time, one in four US citizens at least 16-years-old now owns an e-reader. Mixing up these two device types, 43 percent of adults in the country have a tablet or an e-book reader.
The latest figures come from Pew’s ongoing Internet & American Life survey. Here’s the breakdown over the last three years:
Unsurprisingly, the rich are leading the way. More than half of households earning $75,000 or more now have tablets and 38 percent now have e-readers. These are up from 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
This chart takes the demographic breakdown further for tablets:
The latest round of tablet, smartphone and PC forecasts from IDC released yesterday in their smart connected device market forecastshows how rapidly tablets and large-screen (5+ inch) smartphones are redefining the market.
These forecasts also underscore how the majority of enterprises need to better plan how to get the most out of mobility investments given the constraints of their IT infrastructures.
The bottom line is that the majority of enterprises today aren’t prepared for the pace of change that the IDC forecasts predict.
Many are struggling to orchestrate mobile device management, security, and workable Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) governance into their IT planning. Initiating and improving application development, reliability and security for mobile applications is also lagging behind, especially in manufacturers.
Armed with fast, high-powered smartphones, a new class of consumers, 100 million strong and growing, is rerouting the path to purchase and redefining cultural norms in the US. Members of the “smartphone class” stand apart from other Americans in the way they shop,communicate, consume media—even how they use their spare time. Its members define themselves by their connectedness and their sense of empowerment through unfettered access to real-time information.
Return Path projects that mobile will overtake Webmail and the desktop PC to become the leading platform for e-mail by year’s end. Email readership on mobile devices accounts for 30% of all opens, up from 10% a few years ago, according to a new study by the email certification and reputation monitoring company,
Return Path estimates that proportion will reach about 35% by June, eclipsing Webmail services like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and Gmail, and roughly equaling email opens on desktop clients like Outlook by mid-year. “What we’ve seen over the past year and a half is that mobile is really eating away at the share of Webmail views,” said Tom Sather, senior director of email research at Return Path. (A Webmail service accessed within a phone’s native email program would be counted as a mobile view in the study.)
Though still early in its development, mobile is emerging as the most imbalanced medium in terms of ad spending versus share of time spent, at 1 percent versus 10 percent, per recent data from eMarketer.
This is not new. Web publishers have always struggled with the fact that the amount of ad spending devoted online falls short of the share of time consumers spend on the medium, 22 percent versus 26 percent – especially when compared to print, which eMarketer estimates is at 15 percent of spend versus only 4 percent share of time spent for newspapers, and magazines, which are at 10 percent versus 3 percent.
Enterprise Sales of Media Tablets Will Account for Approximately 35 Percent of Sales in 2015
STAMFORD, Conn.— Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are forecast to total 118.9 million units in 2012, a 98 percent increase from 2011 sales of 60 million units, according to Gartner, Inc. Apple’s iOS continues to be the dominant media tablet operating system (OS), as it is projected to account for 61.4 percent of worldwide media tablet sales to end users in 2012 (see Table 1).