Developing markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and China (BRIIC) will “drive much of the volume growth” in the global smartphone market in 2013, according to the latest forecasts from research house Canalys.
The company said that developing markets will generate 70 percent to 80 percent of the additional shipments this year, and will make up 38 percent of the global total. The BRIIC countries each feature in Canalys’ top 20 new growth markets for 2013, while no developed market makes the list.
China alone will account for 240 million units, 29 percent of the 837 million global total, extending its lead as the world’s largest smartphone market over the US. However, the company said that the country will be “dominated by domestically based vendors in the coming quarters”, pressuring international vendors active in this market.
“Domestic brands are rapidly moving their businesses toward smartphones and winning consumers with their competitively priced devices. This will continue to put significant pressure on international vendors in 2013. With smartphones starting to penetrate lower tier Chinese cities, international brands lack real competitive advantage in those areas,” said Nicole Peng, research director – China at Canalys.
Canalys also said that 2013 will see more Chinese vendors expand their smartphone business into overseas markets.
Lenovo is currently in the process of an international rollout, following in the steps of Huawei, ZTE and TCL-Alcatel.
And smartphones from vendors such as Gionee, Yulong and Meizu have also been launched in Russia, India, Taiwan, Southeast Asian and Latin American markets.
“Only very few Chinese smartphone makers have comprehensive or long-term international expansion plans in place. Their goals are straightforward: to grow economies of scale or fulfill production capacity and to increase profit margin as pricing pressure is lower in overseas markets. Nonetheless, it is time to think beyond Huawei and ZTE in terms of Chinese vendors with the potential to be disruptive internationally,” said research analyst Jingwen Wang.