Just 20 years ago, it seemed unbelievable to have a home computer that could store 1 GB of data on a hard drive. Today phones that double as computers fit into the palm of the hand and let people access information from virtually any location on the planet. The smartphone might just be one of the world’s most important modern inventions and the sales figures prove it.
Android and Apple smartphones make up more than 96% of total sales around the world.
Nearly 1 billion smartphones are now sold every year. The fastest growing niche of the industry is in phones that are priced under the $200 mark. Yet there are also strong sales in premium brands, such as the Apple iPhone, which can be priced above the $650 mark in some areas. People love smartphones, but they also love having the latest smartphone.
- In 2012, there were more smartphones than people in the UK.
- In the next 24 months, the sales of smartphones are expected to be 3x higher than the sale of home PCs.
- In 2011, there was a total of $241 billion in mobile transactions. Up to 50% of the sales on the internet today come from mobile devices.
- The auction site eBay sells something from a smartphone every 2 seconds.
- 55 million people carry at least two smartphones.
- By 2018, it is estimated that the global smartphone market will reach $1.6 trillion in sales.
- Smartphones make up more than 75% of the overall mobile handset revenues annually.
- In 2015, US sales of smartphones are expected to be worth more than $340 billion.
- Total annual growth has reduced from 9% to 6% over the last 5 years.
The smartphone market is big. It’s very big. What is more remarkable about this market is that it is powered by two brands: Samsung and Apple. Although there are plenty of other mobile providers in the market, this duopoloy is a driving force behind how people think about smartphones, how they use them, and what they plan to do with them in the future. As cheaper smartphones continue to be introduced to opening markets in the Asia-Pacific region, the amount of global revenues for this industry is expected to get massively higher. Even when someone already owns a smartphone, they are still a customer for a new one, and that’s why this industry will still see explosive growth.
Is Saturation Bothering The Smartphone Market?
- In 2014, there were 967.78 million smartphones sold to end users and over 1 billion global smartphone shipments.
- The global revenue from smartphones: $264.75 billion.
- 31.3%. That’s the global market share that Samsung holds on the smartphone market.
- Apple iPhones account for 10% of the total smartphone sales in the world today.
- Only 60 million smartphones that were shipped in 2014 had a screen that was 5 inches or larger.
- 69% of smartphones today have the Facebook app installed on them.
- The average price of an Android smartphone in 2014: $230.
- 90% of Windows phone sales are in the Nokia Lumia models., accounting for about 3% of the total smartphone market.
- Blackberry phones have less than a 1% market share.
- By 2020, there is expected to be 10 billion connected smartphones.
Smartphone sales are transitioning to more affordable phones, especially as markets like India and China are opening up to the market. Many smartphones in these markets are priced below $100 and although they don’t have massive storage or fast processors, they are still very much a smartphone and people want them. Most remarkable about the sales figures from 2011-2014 is how fast Blackberry has dropped. In 2011, Blackberry had a 9.6% market share. In 2014, they managed just 0.5%. In the meantime, Android increased their market share by nearly 30 percentage points. Although Q4 2014 saw Apple outsell Samsung, there are 3 Samsung phones sold for every iPhone. Premium smartphones might sell well, but as the technology improves, people are looking for more affordable options.
Who Is Purchasing Smartphones Today?
- 1 in 3 people in the world today owns at least one smartphone.
- The 14-17 year old age demographic is the least likely to own a smartphone.
- 37%. That’s the percentage of smartphone owners that have a data plan.
- Less than 30% of people who own smartphones use the internet on their device.
- 3 out of 4 smartphone owners have downloaded a weather app, making a check of the weather more popular than texting someone from a phone.
- Over the next 5 years, mobile network providers are expected to earn over $700 billion from texting alone.
- More than $23 billion in sales was generated in the US alone because of smartphone searches and m-commerce platforms.
Data might be the primary point of advertising smartphones to the general market today, but that isn’t where the money is being spent. 95% of smartphone owners between the ages of 18-29 send out texts on a regular basis. More than 10 trillion texts were sent in the last year. That is some big business that can’t be ignored. The average person in this age demographic is sending out over 100 texts per day. People are purchasing smartphones for data access and mobile internet, but staying in contact with others is still a #1 priority.
People Are In Love With Their Smartphones
- 15%. That’s the percentage of people who say that they’d rather give up sex than go an entire weekend without their iPhone.
- 4 out of 10 smartphone users say that they’d rather give up coffee before giving up their smartphone.
- People who make $75k per year are up to 4x more likely to own an iPhone.
- There are 91.4 million active smartphones in the United States.
- The percentage of the world’s population that owns a mobile phone: 80%. Only 1 in 5 mobile phones, however, is a smartphone.
- Men [53%] are more likely to own a smartphone than women [47%].
- The average Apple iPhone user downloads 48 apps per month.
Although the smartphone sales figures are rather impressive, the fact still remains that there is a lot of potential growth in this industry. Since 4 out of 5 phones in operation aren’t smartphones right now, as the technology gets cheaper, so will the market saturation. People love their smartphones because they make life easier. Some people are even addicted to their smartphone, constantly checking it for updates to see if someone has spoken with them. This is creating billions in revenue annually and disrupting the mobile communication market, but in a good way.
Even Kids Are Getting Into The Smartphone Market
- 10% of children under the age of 1 have used a smartphone or similar device to play games or watch streaming video.
- By the age of 8, 41% of children have used a smartphone.
- 72% of the top education apps in the iTunes App Store are designed to be used by preschoolers or elementary school children.
- The 3 apps that Fisher Price designed for their Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case has been downloaded more than 700k times.
- The #1 fear of smartphone owners today: identity theft. That fear also means that almost 8 out of 10 smartphone users refuse to use any banking apps on their device.
Technology continues to improve learning opportunities for kids today. Although screen times are recommended to be less than 1-2 hours per day, there is no denying the potential of learning that can happen with this technology during a child’s formative years. As kids grow into adults and have their smartphones by their side, there’s no limit to how far and how fast the smartphone industry can grow. There may be concern about saturation right now, but when new technology is developed and placed into a smartphone, you can bet that everyone will be in line for the next smartphone to see what it can do.
Should Charities Market To Smartphones?
- 6% of smartphone users have donated to a charity via text message.
- A text donation can be either $5 or $10, but 89% of people who donate say they would like to give more than the current maximum. 3 out of 4 would give at least $20.
- 12% of smartphone users say that they would donate money by text if they knew how to do it.
What does this all mean? It shows that the younger generations are dominating the smartphone market. As Baby Boomers retire and business productivity has to ramp up, smartphone use for charities and all other businesses are going to increase. The smartphone market may be only 20 years old, but it’s still a ground floor opportunity. Just choose Apple or Samsung if you want to get involved.
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