With 2016 just around the corner, at least three major global shifts are predicted to take place in the smartphone market during the next twelve months.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, smartphone financing will become the norm, Indonesia will join India as the next big smartphone market after China, and smartwatches will start to cannibalise fitness bands.
“Smartphone instalment plans and lease-to-own programs will go global in 2016, as OEMs take programs that first gained traction in the United States to other markets,” says Ken Hyers, Director, Strategy Analytics.
“Apple iPhone Upgrade Program and ZTE SmartPay are among early leaders in using direct financing to boost smartphone shipments or enhance customer stickiness.
“Operators, like Sprint, will feel the squeeze from vendor-led financing and will need to respond vigorously with their own customer loyalty and lease-to-own programs.”
At a global level, Indonesia will join India as the next big smartphone market after China in 2016.
Representing the second biggest trend to impact the market, as China’s growth slows due to maturity, smartphone vendors will increasingly search for fresh growth in other emerging countries.
“India and Indonesia together will represent 13 percent of all smartphone shipments worldwide next year,” adds Neil Mawston, Executive Director, Strategy Analytics.
“India is set to overtake the United States as the second largest smartphone market by 2017.
“India and Indonesia will be the fastest-growing smartphone markets among the world’s ten biggest countries from 2016 to 2020.
“We also predict some smartphone and component manufacturing to shift out of China and into India and Indonesia during the coming years, for closer supply proximity to these growing pools of demand.”
In wearables, the Apple Watch will prove a relatively popular accessory for smartphone owners during the busy Q4 2015 holiday season and into 2016 when the next generation of smartwatch models will be launched.
“We forecast global smartwatch shipments to grow 57 percent in 2016, while fitness bands will grow just 8 percent next year,” adds Cliff Raskind, Director, Strategy Analytics.
“Smartwatches optimised for health and fitness, such as the Moto 360 Sport, are emerging as strong alternatives to Fitbit and other players in the fitness band category.
“Just as multi-function smartphones displaced most feature phones, multi-function smartwatches that support fitness apps, social feeds and music-to-go will eventually cannibalise mid-to-high-tier fitness bands.”