Smartphone shipments to grow to 2 billion by 2018

 Chances are that you have a smartphone and can’t now remember what life was like before you could access your emails, social networking sites, the Internet and games at the simple touch of a button. Well, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, a staggering 72% of people living in the UK now own a smartphone. 

Believe it or not, recent research conducted by ABI has revealed that this phenomenal trend is predicted to grow even further in the next few years. The company’s research indicated that 1.25 billion smartphones should ship in 2014, with this figure rising to an impressive 2 billion by 2018. This means that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the period between 2014 and 2019 will be 12%.

Senior Practice Director of ABI, Nick Spencer, commented:

While smartphone growth is beginning to fall, plenty of growth remains, with smartphone penetration of mobile subscribers under 30% worldwide. Most advanced and affluent markets already have 60%+ penetration, so the growth is driven by developing markets and the reduction in smartphone ASPs.

This growth is likely to be driven by Chinese and Indian smartphone manufacturers who are creating low-cost Android or AOSP devices for markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. 

The research also found that smartphones would consolidate their lead as the largest computing category – more than doubling that of its nearest rival in 2017.

What exactly are people using their smartphones for however? Back in May, Deloitte carried out a customer review of 1,000 people in the UK aged 16 – 64. The results revealed that half of those surveyed have used their phone to make a purchase, 57% have checked product availability, 31% have already used an online wallet and 12% have ventured into contactless payments.

According to the latest TNS research commissioned by Google, it would in fact appear that UK consumers are far ahead of Europe when it comes to using their smartphones for online shopping. Out of the 18 countries surveyed, the UK has the highest percentage of people making monthly purchases on their phone at 32%. This is compared to just 8% in France, 15% in Germany and 19% in Sweden.

When it comes to owning this handy piece of technology, Deloitte’s research found that those aged 25 to 30 are the most likely to own a smartphone with 89% of people in that age bracket in possession of one. This was closely followed by the 16-24-age range, which came in at 85%. It was also found that this is the group that is the happiest to use apps for shopping rather than going into a shop. The research found that modern technology is no longer restricted to the younger age groups either with more than half (54%) of 54 to 65-year olds now owning a smartphone too.