Global mobile phone shipments will hit 1.77 billion in 2016, driven by growth in mobile users in the emerging markets and the proliferation of broadband-enabled handsets, predicts Ovum. In a new forecast, the outfit has found that that the mobile handset market will experience steady growth of 2.5 per cent over the next five years, with shipments increasing by more than 230 million from 2011 to 2016.
Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach commented: “Our latest analysis has shown that after a difficult 2009 due to the recession, the mobile handset market bounced back in 2010, with shipments reaching 1.49 billion units.” He said that this strong performance corrected for the growth that didn’t happen in 2009 and put the market on course for a period of steady growth over the next five years. According to Leach, much of the growth will be fuelled by mobile connections in emerging markets, where the number of mobile phone users continues to increase steadily.
Operators switching to 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks will also play a key role. Ovum’s forecast shows that shipments of mobile broadband-enabled handsets will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 15.1 per cent from 2010 to 2016, to reach 962 million units.
Leach said that increasing consumer appetite for smartphones was a major factor in driving the growth in the market for mobile broadband-enabled handsets. However, smartphones are not the only story and there will still be growth in non-smart broadband phones, particularly in emerging markets.