A recent forecast by ABI Research states that Brazil and India are expected to be in the top four countries for smartphone shipments by 2018. China will displace the US as the largest smartphone market in 2013. Smartphone vendor interest and the strategies of the smartphone value chain are shifting accordingly.
According to the forecast Russia will come in as the 11th largest smartphone market in 2013 and will climb to 7th in 2018. “With room to grow, the emerging BRIC nations are displacing established markets such as the US and Japan as market leaders in terms of smartphone shipments,” stated senior analyst, Michael Morgan.
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 Americas’ share of smartphone shipments will be 33% (equal to BRIC) down from 39% in 2013. It is clear that the 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. ABI Research notes that over the past two years, Android paired with low cost hardware has opened 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,” added senior practice director, Jeff Orr.