Data & Research

Mobile's new direction: Smartphone sales to double by 2017, but Africa and the Middle East will drive growth

Mobile's new direction: Smartphone sales to double by 2017, but Africa and the Middle East will drive growth
Mobile developers may soon have to focus their attention on courting a new type of consumer, with future smartphone growth now dependent on sales in regions like Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

That's according to Pyramid Research, which claims the US and Western Europe will no longer be the driving forces behind smartphone sales.

Instead, mobile manufacturers and developers alike may have to alter their strategies in order to appeal to developing markets.

New direction

In the firm's latest report – Research in Focus: Smartphones – global smartphone sales will more than double between 2012 and 2017, hitting close to 1.5 billion units in 2017.

Emerging markets, however, will generate more than half – 58 percent – of these sales, with the US and Western Europe taking a back seat.

The highest growth, the firm reports, will occur in Africa and the Middle East, which will boast a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.3 percent, just ahead of Central and Eastern Europe on 24 percent.

"While smartphone unit sell-through will grow dramatically in emerging markets during the forecast period, growth in the more developed regions will be far lower," says Pyramid Research associate analyst, Guillermo Hurtado.

"Asia-Pacific, the largest region in terms of smartphone unit sell-through, will grow at a CAGR of 21.5 percent over the forecast period, contributing much of the growth in the global smartphone market."

You can purchase the report in full here.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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