While China has been seen as a growth engine for the market, IDC expects it’s now become largely a replacement market, and will only grow in single digits. The Middle East & Africa (MEA) region will see the highest growth in 2015, with shipments expected to increase nearly 50 percent. Growth going forward will continue to come from low-cost smartphones in emerging markets. As many of these phones do not have the components to last two years, replacement cycles will be less than the typical two-year rate, helping sustain the market growth. IDC also expects vendors to turn more to new financing and trade-in options in order to drive replacements, also in more developed markets as Apple has done with the latest iPhone.
The market shares of the various OS are expected to change little over the forecast period, as Google’s Android remains dominant with around 82 percent of shipments, Apple takes 14-15 percent and Microsoft’s Windows stays at just over 2 percent.