Analysts: Smartphone market approaching saturation this year

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Research says that majority of global connections will still be on basic and feature phones but developing world approaching saturation

The smartphone market in parts of the developed world will reach saturation by the end of this year, according to analysts Analysys Mason.

The claim was made as part of its research into the global handset market over the next five years, and it believes that some Western markets, such as the US and The Nordics, will see a decline is sales as early as next year.

Overall the smartphone market is set to grow by 136 per cent over the next five years reaching 76 per cent, 82 per cent and 88 per cent of connections in Western Europe, North America and developed Asia-Pacific, respectively.

The overwhelmingly dominance of basic and feature phones in developing markets, means that smartphones will only account for the majority of global connections (52 per cent) from 2018.

The research body also predicted that Apple will lose market share falling from 16 per cent last year to 13 per cent in 2018, while Android would retain its comfortable lead with 72 per cent share in five years time.

There was mixed news for Windows Phone with Analysys stating it would see some growth in the high-end segment, it would remain below the 10 per cent barrier of market share.

“The pole position for the smartphone market in terms of operating systems and device manufacturers will not change much in the next five years,” said principal analyst Ronan de Renesse. “However, like a tugging war, much strength will be required from the major stakeholders to maintain their position and capture whatever little market share they can.”

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