GfK claims that smartphone sales surpassed one billion barrier for first time in 2014
Sales in Latin America helped to drive smartphone sales past 1.2 billion units last year, according to GfK.
The figures from the analyst body show that 2014 was the first time that sales of smartphones broke the one billion barrier annually. This represented a 23 per cent jump on the 998 million units GfK reported for FY 2013.
Despite shipments growing by 23 per cent, the total value of sales grew by just 15 per cent to $381.1 billion (2013: $330.4 billion) indicating stronger growth in lower price segments.
In Western Europe units increased by 11 per cent to 128 million units (115.4) and sales value grew seven per cent to $55.8 billion ($52.2 billion). Central and Eastern European shipments grew by 37 per cent to 69.8 million (50.9 million) with sales value growing by 14 per cent to $17.2 billion ($15.1 billion).
However, the strongest growth was in Latin America which grew by a whopping 59 per cent to 109.5 million units (68.7) with sales value growing by $31.4 billion ($20.6 billion) over the reporting period.
The outlook for the current year is less rosy with GFK reporting a slowdown in growth which will fall to 14 per cent in 2015. It believes only the entry-level segment (sub-$100) that will see growth.
“We forecast emerging regions to drive growth in 2015 as smartphones further penetrate lower price points,” said GfK director of trends and forecasting Kevin Walsh.
“We forecast that smartphone price bands above $150 will see a decline in their market share. At the next level down, $100-150, sales will remain stable, but it is the cheaper smartphones priced below this point that will gain share.”