back to article Smartphone growth? Not in Q1, says IDC

Prospects for handset-makers just got worse, with the smartphone market recording its worst quarterly growth ever. Remember how at the end of March, Gartner predicted a mere seven per cent smartphone growth for 2016, the first time the market hadn't managed double-digit growth? That forecast is starting to look like rose- …

  1. twilkins

    I'm afraid the declining revenues across the tech sector are caused by the same thing as the declining revenues across the British high street. Consumers are tapped out.

    The debt party should have ended around 2008, but ultra low interest rates have kept it going much longer than it should have, and now we are heading into unknown territory with negative interest rates and talk of helicopter money drops.

    Interesting times...

  2. BigAndos

    Phones are good enough

    When there used to be a real difference between generations of phones people would prioritise getting a new shiny thing as soon as their contract was up. Now phones have reached the same state as PCs and tablets and are generally "good enough", people don't feel this pressure.

    I used to be a right mug (sorry "early adopter") and count down the days until my contract would let me upgrade. A few years ago I swapped to SIM only and just buy a new handset outright when the old one breaks. I bought an S7 recently after my G3 bit the dust and I can honestly say I can't think of many things that would make me replace it apart from it breaking out of warranty!

    I think the next big things that will move the market will be 1) a battery that lasts a week on one charge or 2) someone cracking "wearables" and actually making a Google Glass style product that is desirable and useful. Until those happen more flatlining/declining sales!

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Phones are good enough

      Exactly. It seems some in the tech and investment sectors just don't understand the concept of a mature technology or market. For a while, there was a real different between last year's phone and this year's. Now, there's no meaningful difference at all. Just as most people don't replace their TV and car every year, there's no reason for them to replace their phone either. There's nothing at all surprising or worrying about any of this. The mobile market had huge growth because people who didn't have phones were buying them, and for a while people who had them were improving them. Now, everyone who wants one has one, and most people who have one don't need a new one. Everyone who isn't a complete idiot knew this would happen, and anyone who counted on market growth remaining at the same high levels for much longer is, in fact, a complete idiot.

      I doubt there will be anything that really moves the market though. Things like batteries and wearables have potential to generate short-term spikes in sales when early adopters upgrade to be able to use the latest thing, but that won't really change anything. Most people will just wait until they were going to upgrade anyway - how many people rushed out to buy a 4K TV, for example? The next big thing isn't likely to move the mobile market at all, it will simply create a new market just as mobiles themselves did.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I only got a new phone when my old one literally fell apart and that was after using sticky tape to keep it together. My current phone will be kept until the same thing happens or it breaks down and can't be repaired.

    As far as I can see a lot of us old fogies think the same way, it is only the young that 'must' have the latest shiny shiny toy.

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