Earlier this week, market researcher IDC came out with a headline-grabbing statistic: Mobile phone sales scales will tip in favor of smartphones, which are expected to out-ship feature phones for the first time ever later this year.
At Broadcom, this moment is something we’ve predicted — and anticipated — for nearly a decade.
IDC forecasts vendors shipping some 919 million smartphones in 2013, just over the halfway mark of the global total mobile phone shipments for the year.
Perhaps the more interesting data points buried in IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker illustrate exactly where that growth is coming from: China and India. The world’s two most populous countries are projected to be the biggest market drivers for smartphone sales in the next few years.
“The balance of smartphone demand is gradually shifting to emerging markets where smartphone user bases are still relatively small and economic prospects are considerably higher,” IDC said in a statement. “Smartphone demand is burgeoning in these large, populous nations as their respective economies have grown; this has made for a larger middle class that is prepared to buy smartphones.”
Broadcom is aiming to capitalize on this trend by focusing on emerging markets, including China and India. The company has made inroads with design wins from big players there, including Samsung, ZTE, TCL and others.
“We are right in the thick of it, since we have low-cost smartphones that we are selling to China and India,” said Mike Civiello, senior director of product marketing for mobile platforms in the Mobile & Wireless Group at Broadcom. “Those two markets are obviously very interesting to us.”
Over the past two years, the company has rolled out a number of affordable smartphone technologies aimed at emerging markets. Among its latest is a turnkey 3G platform aimed to help device manufacturers in emerging markets roll out fresh, full-featured Android smartphones at a lower cost.
The biggest smartphone market, of course, is China, which last year supplanted the U.S. as the global leader in smartphone shipments, IDC’s data showed. China is expected to see 301 million smartphones shipped this year, for a total of 30 percent of the market. By 2017, that number is projected to jump to 458 million smartphones shipped, while its market share holds steady at 32 percent.
India is the big standout for future smartphone growth, according to IDC’s stats. It’s expected to see smartphone shipments skyrocket more than 400 percent by 2017 to 156 million phones shipped.
From the release:
“Even as China starts to mature, there remains enormous untapped potential in other emerging markets like India, where we expect less than half of all phones shipped there to be smartphones by 2017, and yet it will weigh in as the world’s third largest market.”
Consumers’ excitement around the smartphone experience — and how it’s changing the world’s concept of mobile communications — wouldn’t happen with out seamless integration at the chip level, Broadcom’s Civiello said. The company’s big advantage is being able to pack in best-in-class technologies into 3G platforms, which help phone manufacturers save on costs and speeds up their products’ time-to-market.
“We offer the lowest power consumption for a 3G phone, and we have the best Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth technologies, all of the features and benefits consumers are looking for,” he said.
- 3G Mobile Portfolio Nabs Awards in China
- Meet the $100 Smartphone: A Top Growth-Driver in Emerging Markets
- T-Mobile Taps Broadcom for Affordable Smartphone
- Vodafone Launches Smart II, an Affordable Smartphone for the Masses
- Broadcom Fuels the Affordable Smartphone Revolution
- Bringing the “Smartphone Experience” to All