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Asia-Pacific is the key driver of global smartphone market

Feb 25. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Telecommunication sector, comprising smartphones, feature phones and wearables, has claimed a 44-per cent share, and remains the powerhouse in the $1.2 trillion technical consumer goods (TCG) market, according to a study.

 

Global smartphone sales remained strong in 2018 as the premium trend continued to fuel growth, with sales value rising by 5 per cent in spite of a 3 per cent shrinkage in market size that hit 1.44 billion units.

Smartphones represent the majority of the total spend of the global TCG market last year. This is expected to grow by one per cent in 2019.

These findings were released to coincide with Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona.

The biggest consumers of smartphones are in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 732 million units bought last year.

The Asia-Pacific smartphone market registered a slight decline in demand in parallel with the world trend, while the overall consumer spend increased by 5 per cent.

Within Asia Pacific, China accounted for 60 per cent of the region’s total market value and 54 per cent of market volume – making it the largest contributing country in the global smartphone market.

“The Chinese market consumes the majority of the global smartphone production, as well as being the home of local brands that are becoming increasingly global,” said Alexander Dehmel, regional senior market insights manager at GfK.

“Some 40 per cent of the Chinese brands’ smartphone production in 2018 was purchased outside of China, up from 31 per cent in 2016.”

Trailing as the second largest Asia-Pacific market, India bucked the global demand downtrend, reporting growth in both sales volume and value in 2018, by 19 and 21 per cent respectively. More than 161 million smartphones worth over $28.5 billion were sold last year. 

“In Asia’s emerging markets such as India, a country where feature phone sales still exceed half of the total handset market, the smartphone market’s rapid growth is fuelled by the high adoption rate of first-time smartphone users, in addition to the fast replacement cycle and upgrading of existing smartphone users,” said Dehmel. 

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