According to the latest report by research firm GfK, the total number of smartphones sold in 2014 increased by 23% to over 1.228 billion over the previous year. While there were no specific Canadian numbers, the report noted that North America contributed 177.6 million devices, representing 28% increase over last year. The largest group was from China with 392.8 million and the largest bump was from Latin America with 110 million units sold, a 59% increase compared to 2013.
As for 2015, it’s not looking as pretty. GfK believes that “all regions will grow in unit terms in 2015, but growth rates will slow significantly from 2014.” The main reason is due to the saturation of smartphones in the market and users potentially looking to upgrade their device with a larger display.
Kevin Walsh, Director of Trends and Forecasting at GfK said, “The increase in the value of units sold in China, despite the recent plateauing of unit sales, is due to consumers’ rapid adoption of higher priced smartphones with larger screen sizes. This is a trend seen in most markets and GfK global data shows that the 5 to 5.6 inch segment grew by more than 130 percent year-on-year in the last quarter of 2014 and by nearly 150 percent in the full year. In 2015, we forecast this segment to become the dominant screen size band, surpassing 4 to 4.5 inches for the first time.”