SEOUL, KOREA - The growth of the smartphone market, which marked the strongest growth among key IT markets over the past three years, is likely to slow down this year, with the premium smartphone market entering the maturity phase.
This year's smartphone market size is estimated at 1.18 million units, up 20.9 percent from a year ago. However, the 2014 growth rate is lower than last year's growth rate of 39.6 percent. Key factors behind the slowdown of the smartphone market include the fact that the premium smartphone market reached a saturation point.
In a situation where the global smartphone uptake rate reached the 30-percent level, the demand for new smartphones and the replacement demand started stagnating in industrialized countries, including the United States and Europe.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the global market for premium smartphones with prices of over $300 will likely to stagnate at a level between 320 million and 330 million units this year. The premium smartphone market has been growing at a robust pace, reaching 237.9 million units in 2011, 292.2 million units in 2012 and 324.9 million units in 2013.