New predictions from ABI Research forecast that smartphone shipments will reach 1.25 billion before 2014’s end.
Even more exciting that that is the accelerated growth they forecast over the upcoming 4 years. They predict a compound annual growth rate of global smartphone shipments over the period of 12% leading to smartphone shipments in 2018 of 2 Billion units.
“While smartphone growth is beginning to fall, plenty of growth remains, with smartphone penetration of mobile subscribers under 30% worldwide,” states Nick Spencer, ABI Research.
As the device market continues to expand, mobile application markets continue to show exceptional growth as well. Gartner states in-app purchases are growing at a phenomenal 27.83% compound annual growth rate and predicts paid mobile application downloads will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.22% through 2017. Mobile application development is certainly going to be a key component of most businesses’ marketing strategy.
Wearable technology is set to enhance the mobile environment even further.
“When wearable technology reaches a point where it can be integrated into everyday life, companies who take advantage of its ability to interact effortless with consumers will benefit by being prepared to meet customers needs,” says Kimber Johnson, Managing Director of Pacific App Design.
The most recent forecast from IDC predicts that the smart devices market will grow 15.6% in 2014. This would have the smart device market reaching close to 1.8 billion devices. This growth is expected to be lead by smartphone growth as PC and tablet sales expectations have been lowered slightly. IDC further estimates that shipments will grow to 2.4 billion units in 2018 and expects smartphone shipments to outpace total PC shipments by more than 6 to 1 in 2018.
“Apple’s iOS-ification of Mac OS, and Microsoft’s implementation of Modern UI throughout different form factors are clear indicators that we’re living in a mobile-first world,” states Jitesh Ubrani, IDC Research Analyst.
Further illustrating the move to smartphones as users primary devices are usage numbers. The amount of daily time spent on mobile devices is now outpacing TV in the U.S. (according a newly-released 2014 AdReaction study from Millward Brown). On average U.S. users now spend 151 minutes per day on smartphones and only 147 on average in front of TVs. In China users spend an average of 170 minutes per day on their devices.
xAd and Telmetrics 2nd Annual UK Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study states that up to 46 percent of UK consumers now use mobile devices as their primary medium for purchase decision making, while one in four use mobile devices as their exclusive shopping research device. Mobile applications and mobile web sites are becoming more important than ever as they are becoming consumers primary point of contact with brands.