More than half of smartphones sold globally are 4G devices
More than half of the smartphones sold globally in the first three months of 2015 were 4G devices, according to a new report.
It is the first time 4G mobiles – fourth generation mobile phones – accounted for more than 50% of the global market share.
GfK, which carried out the research, said the increasing affordability of 4G smartphones had “buoyed” growth and predicted the share of 4G mobiles in the market to reach 59% by the end of the year.
Low-end smartphones – those costing less than 250USD – made up 56% of the market, up from 52% in the last three months of 2014, at the expense of high-end models – those costing more than 500USD.
Global smartphone sales in the first three months of 2015 were 8% up on the same period last year.
310m handsets were sold, with growth down from 19% year-on-year in the last three months of 2014.
GfK attributed the slowdown to year-on-year declines in demand for smartphones in China (down 14%) and Developed Asia (5%).
The number of smartphones sold in Western Europe increased by 12% to 31.5m units.
Kevin Walsh, GfK’s director of trends and forecasting, said: “GfK forecasts global smartphone unit demand to grow 10% year-on-year in 2015, a slowdown from the 23% growth experienced last year.
“Emerging Asia is forecast to be the fastest growing region, driven by India and Indonesia, where low smartphone penetration leaves plenty of room for growth.”
Larger screen sizes
The first quarter of 2015 saw a continued shift towards larger screen sizes.
Smartphones with screens bigger than five inches accounted for 47% of the global market.
In North America, the share of large screen devices went up from 59% to 70%, driven by demand for high-end models.
In China, the growth in share to 57% from 32% in the same period last year was driven by the sales of cheaper models.
GfK expects large screen smartphones to account for 69% of the market this year.
Cable.co.uk previously reported that the increased use of smartphones and tablets is fuelling a hike in the amount of time people spend online.
Research by Ofcom found that people spent twice as much time online as they did 10 years ago.
The number of people using a smartphone to access the internet has more than doubled in five years, rising from 30% of adults in 2010 to 66% in 2014, according to the regulator’s Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report.
The percentage of adults who used a tablet to go online rose from 5% in 2010 to 39% in 2014.
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