Emerging markets drive device growth

30 September 2014

NUREMBERG: The global market for digital devices is predicted to be $1 trillion in 2015, with emerging markets the fastest growing area as developed countries reach saturation point, a new study has said.

Forecasts from global market research agency GfK, covering 70 different digital device types, show that while the total forecast has remained unchanged since 2011, there have been multi-billion dollar changes at country level. The 10 largest growth markets are set to increase by over $10bn in 2015 and are dominated by emerging markets.

The speed of this shift is evident in the fact that there were seven new entries in the top ten smartphone growth markets for 2015.

Falling out of the list were the US, Japan, UK, Germany, South Korea, Russia and Italy, to be replaced by Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Vietnam and Bangladesh. India, China and Brazil were constants.

"The reason for emerging market dominance of smartphone growth in the next year is that pricing is reaching the sweet spot of $30 to $50 (around £18 to £30)," Kevin Walsh, Forecasting Director at GfK, told the Daily Telegraph. "This brings a major population segment (earning $2,000 to $4,000) into the market."

India provides by far the greatest opportunity. Falling prices there are driving volume sales of smartphones, leading to an overall technology device growth of nearly $5bn next year, up 16% on 2014.

Consequently, global sales of feature phones are falling rapidly – volume sales are expected to be down 20% and value sales down 30% in 2015 – although they remain important in some markets. Walsh pointed to emerging APAC countries, the Middle East and Africa but added there were opportunities for low end smartphone makers, "as we are seeing clear evidence of consumers willing to accept a price jump when they upgrade from a feature phone to their first smartphone".

After India, the fastest growing markets for all digital devices were Pakistan (+15%), Bangladesh (+13%), Nigeria (+13%), Vietnam (+11%), Egypt (+8%), Philippines (+6%) and Indonesia (+3%).

Data sourced from GfK, Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff