IDC predicts smartphones to grow in size and marketshare

Laurent Giret

Market research company IDC expects worldwide smartphone shipments to recover in 2017 after a disappointing growth last year. In its latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the company forecasts a 3.0% year-over-year growth this year with worldwide shipments to reach 1.52 billion units.

“IDC expects this momentum to carry into 2018, when smartphone shipments are forecast to grow 4.5% year over year, fueled by improved economic conditions in many emerging markets and a full year of new iPhone shipments from Apple,” explained the company.

Unfortunately, Windows Phone won’t benefit from this positive growth as IDC expects 2017 shipments to decrease to just 1.1 million units (down 80.9% year-over-year). “Microsoft has yet to fully commit to any “Surface”-style attack for smartphones or to push new vendors to embrace the platform, leaving little hope of mounting a full scaled comeback in the years to come,” noted the market research company.

Last but not least, IDC shared some interesting remarks about smartphone screens. If all high-end smartphones have big screens these days, IDC thinks that smartphone manufacturers are now using borderless designs to stand out in the market. IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella explained:

The display looks like it could be the next battlefield for the smartphone over the next couple years. We have seen both Samsung and LG opt for new borderless 18:9 displays and Apple could be set to join the party later this year. As smartphone owners continue to consume media on their devices, the screen (bigger, brighter, and bolder) will be an integral part of the overall design language for each vendor. From flexible to foldable and everything between, 18:9 displays look to be just the beginning of what’s to come.

As you may know, some of us at OnMSFT couldn’t resist the beautiful screen of the Samsung Galaxy S8, and even the US Microsoft Store has started selling a Microsoft Edition of the flagship Android phone. Sound off in the comments if you expect all premium smartphones to adopt borderless displays in the near future.