Peak Smartphone Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Less Apps

Now that we are at ‘peak smartphone’, developers such as myself are starting to question what comes next. The answer is probably ‘more apps’.

As Gartner recently said

Much of the innovation in the mobile space isn’t taking place inside the smartphones themselves, but in the things that communicate with them. Gartner predicts that by 2018, 25 percent of new mobile apps will talk to Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Most IoT devices talk to smartphones via an app or the browser. The app is usually the preferred mechanism because it provides a richer experience that also provides analysis and usage stats to backend services.

In the future the app will increasinly move from being centre stage and the central purpose to being an enabler for some other, probably more useful, purpose.

Smartphones, IoT and Consumer Interest

accentureAccenture have report Igniting Growth in Consumer Technology (PDF) that covers how smartphone sales growth is coming to an end and how IoT devices are not filling the gap.


Price is the top barrier to purchasing IoT devices while security comes next when it comes to people’s concerns. People are also finding IoT devices difficult to use.

Accenture provide some suggestions to help prevent stalling of consumer interest. These include improving consumer experience, building security/trust and leveraging IoT to create new types of solutions. Ecosystems are partnering are ways to enable growth.

Counterpoint on Phone Shipments

counterpointCounterpoint has a new infographic based on data from their latest Mobile Market Monitor report showing mobile handset and smartphone shipments. The report covers over 75 OEMs globally. Global phone shipments grew 4% annually. Three in four mobile phone shipped globally is smartphone.

The following chart is for smartphones and shows which OEMs and, by inference, what platforms are most popular in the various geographic regions…


IDC Smartphone Market Share Forecast

idcIDC have a new smartphone growth forecast up to 2019. Developers will be more interested in the split by operating system…


As with other recent forecasts, iOS and Android are predicted to remain at roughly their current market shares.

Latest Mobile Market Research

I continue to regularly update my mobile market research site. Recent additions include…
  • IDC: Worldwide Tablet Market Continues to Decline; Vendor Landscape is Evolving
  • Counterpoint Research: Chinese Brands Dominate As Huawei Becomes The Third Largest Mobile Phone Brand Globally For The First Time
  • IDC: Worldwide Smartphone Market Posts 11.6% Year-Over-Year Growth in Q2 2015, the Second Highest Shipment Total for a Single Quarter
  • CA and Oxford Economics: The Battle for Competitive Advantage in the App Economy
  • Argus Insights: US Consumer Smartphone Demand is Plummeting Despite the Introduction of Flagship Phones

Demand for New Smartphones Dropping

argusinsightsArgus Insights has a new free report (PDF) on how ‘Consumer Smartphone Demand is Plummeting
Despite the Introduction of Flagship Phones’. The report says…

New phones are typically a vague improvement on old ones, with better cameras, memory, etc., but these small improvements are failing to create urgency for consumers to upgrade right away. “


This might be seen as good news for developers. It’s unlikely the installed base is falling. We might get a period of relative stability where we won’t have to keep testing on newer devices. However, there is also a counter-argument that people mainly try new apps when they get a new phone.

Windows Phone 24.3% Compound Annual Growth up to 2019?

IDC has some new research that roughly correlates with GfK in that smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3% in 2015.


IDC has predictions up to 2019 when it expects both iOS and Android to grow less, with iOS having the lesser year on year growth. They also predict, without substantiation, that Windows Phone will see a 24.3% compound annual growth.

GfK Smartphone Sales and Predictions

gfkGfK has research into Q1 smartphone shipments split by region. Smartphone sales are up 8% year on year driven by the continued growth of larger screen devices.


A new insight is that 4G is rapidly gaining share and surpassed 50% of the global handset market for the first time. GfK expect smartphone sales growth to be 10% over the next year.