Sales of high-end smartphones will slowdown this year: Gartner

Sales of high-end smartphones will slowdown this year: Gartner

Sales of high-end smartphones will slow this year as low and mid-end handsets will hit the market and weigh on average selling prices, market research firm Gartner has predicted.

The market researcher underlined that even top smartphone makers, such as Samsung and Apple, are launching cheaper models as smartphone markets in North America and Europe have reached saturation point.

Launch of cheaper options will likely lead to a fall in average selling price and a decline in revenue growth.

Anshul Gupta, a senior analyst at Gartner, said, "Sales of high-end smartphones will slow as increasing sales of low- and mid-price smartphones in emerging markets will shift the product mix to lower-end devices. This will lead to a decline in average selling price and a slowdown in revenue growth."

Global smartphone sales outpaced sales of feature phones for the first time in 2013, accounting for 53.6 per cent of overall sales. In the final quarter, smartphone sales accounted for 57.6 per cent of overall sales.

Gartner also said that global smartphone sales would likely increase from 968 million units in 2013 to 1.2-1.3 billion units in 2014.

Weaker demand for the high-end smartphones was already visible in the fourth quarter of last year. Samsung's market share slipped to 29.5 per cent from 31.1 per cent year-on-year, while Apple saw its market share falling from 20.9 per cent to 17.8 per cent.

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