Smartphone Math Doesn’t Add Up

Published on March 3, 2013
by Duncan Mavin

For every winner, there has to be a loser. Smartphone sales have defied gravity in recent years, but there’s no defying simple math.

Several major Asia-based smartphone manufacturers are talking up their growth plans. South Korea’s LG Electronics says its smartphone shipments will jump 50% in year-on-year in 2013. China’s expects to post a 50% increase in shipments too. Huawei Technologies says it will ship 60 million smartphones this year, up 88% from 32 million in 2012.

The global market is certainly expanding quickly, but not that fast. Between 2010 and 2011, total global shipments increased 64%, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. In 2012, the pace of shipment growth slowed to 43% year-on-year. In 2013, growth is expected to slow down further to 36%, Strategy Analytics says.

With the overall market growing at a slower pace than what individual manufacturers are forecasting, something’s got to give.

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