Preliminary figures released on Thursday by International Data Corporation (IDC) reveal that the global smartphone market shows steady momentum going into the end-of-year holiday shopping season.
IDC said in a statement that, during the third quarter of 2017, an estimated 373.1 million smartphones were shipped worldwide, which is a 2.7 percent rise as compared to the same period in 2016.
IDC analysts say they consider the growth to be low, but that in their view, “the industry still has momentum.”
The top five smartphone manufacturers all shipped more devices than they did in the same quarter last year, according to the research firm.
“Collectively, the industry continues to grow, but at a much slower pace than past years,” said Ryan Reith, a vice president at the global market intelligence firm. He added, “What is clear is that the ‘Others’ outside of the top five leading vendors continue to struggle and the industry leaders are quickly forming two camps.”
“The fourth quarter will be extremely competitive as vendors will fight it out to win over holiday shoppers,” says Anthony Scarsella, a research manager at IDC. He adds, “Although (new) premium flagships will capture all the hype while driving up the average selling price in the quarter, we still believe a clear majority of shipments will come from more affordable models across many markets.”
IDC forecasts that smartphone sales growth in the current quarter will be less than one percent, due in part to a limited supply of the highly-popular iPhone X, as well as high prices on flagship models. IDC says that high prices of flagship models are prompting people to postpone purchasing smartphones until they are more affordable.