Growth in the smartphone market is being driven by a strong decline in prices, according to research firm IDC, which forecast average selling prices (ASPs) in 2013 will fall 13 per cent to $337 from $387 in 2012.
And IDC expects this trend to persist in the coming years with a further 21 per cent fall to $265 by 2017.
The ASPs of smartphones vary dramatically between regions with North America and Europe being the highest in 2013 at $531 and $419, respectively, followed by the Middle East and Africa ($338), Latin America ($288) and Asia Pacific ($262).
Four of the five regions will see ASPs fall by 2017, with the exception of North America where average prices will actually increase to $567.
Obviously, North America will remain the most expensive smartphone region followed by Europe ($259), Latin America ($246), Middle East and Africa ($230) and Asia Pacific ($215).
Speaking about the current state of the market, Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker, said: “The game has changed quite drastically due to the decline in smartphone ASPs.”
“Just a few years back the industry was talking about the next billion people to connect, and it was assumed the majority of these people would do so by way of the feature phone. Given the trajectory of ASPs, smartphones are now a very realistic option to connect those billion users,” said Reith.
In addition, IDC reiterated its forecast for world smartphone shipments of one billion units this year, representing a 39 per cent growth over 2012. By 2017, shipments are expected to be near 1.7 billion units, said the firm.