Smartphone sales forecast to increase after three-year low

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This is according to the latest research from consultancy Accenture

Sales of smartphones are expected to be on the up again over the course of 2017 following a three-year low.

This is according to the latest research from consultancy Accenture who surveyed 26,000 consumers across 26 countries between October and November last year. Countries included Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Ireland, Singapore, Turkey, the US and the UK.

More than half (54 per cent) of those surveyed said they would buy a smartphone in the next year – an increase from 48 per cent in a similar survey conducted the previous year. Chinese respondents represented a large proportion, with 74 per cent in the country intending to purchase a smartphone over the next year. This is an annual rise from 61 per cent. India and the United states both saw an annual growth for the same period to 79 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

Getting the latest smartphone features and functions were cited by 51 per cent of those surveyed as a driver – up from 41 per cent last year. Upgrading from an outdated device was another reason given by 45 per cent of respondents, an annual increase from 33 per cent.

Accenture Electronics global managing director David Sovie said: “Improved features and falling prices are key reasons consumers around the world are signalling a desire to buy new smartphones,

“Growing acceptance of services powered by artificial intelligence, such as voice assistants, is also fuelling this market upswing. 2017 will be the year when artificial intelligence goes mainstream in consumer devices.”

Wearables

Demand for wearables is predicted to decline, however. Only 14 per cent of those surveyed said they plan to buy a fitness wearable or smartwatch – a flat figure compared to the previous year. High prices and data privacy concerns have largely helped to keep this figure flat.

Sovie explained: “There are widespread consumer concerns about the privacy of their personal data being stolen or compromised. And relative to the value delivered, prices of these connected devices remain too high. Market momentum for these devices will stall unless the industry overcomes these obstacles. If that happens, market demand could accelerate quickly.”

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