The Power of 4G

4G Smartphones Unit Share More Than Doubles in a Year, Capturing 58 Percent in Q2 2015.

The Luxonomist. 27/08/2015
4G Phone 4
Taylor Swift with your smartphone

Almost six in ten (58 percent) smartphones sold in Q2 2015 were 4G-enabled, according to the latest global smartphone sales data from GfK. And with a major operator launching 4G services in India at the start of this month, 4G is now available in all key countries.GfK forecasts 4G smartphone penetration to continue to grow at the expense of 3G, which is currently at 38 percent of smartphone units and is forecast to decline by another percentage point by Q4 2015.

4G Phone 2
Apple iPhone 6. Click to buy

Kevin Walsh, director of trends and forecasting at GfK comments, «India is expected to be the largest contributor of absolute smartphone unit growth globally this year. The main reason behind this is the currently low smartphone penetration in the market together with a significant intensification of the competition amongst the smartphone vendors, which will drive ASP erosion allowing more affordable devices in the market.»There are significant regional differences in 4G take up: price polarization in N.America, saturation in W. European markets, local brands tackling global players in India and China, and intense price competition in emerging markets.

4G Phone 3
4G Smartphones Unit Share More Than Doubles in a Year, Capturing 58 Percent in Q2 2015.

Walsh continues: «The first half of the year has seen macro events providing headwinds to topline demand in regions like C&E. Europe, LATAM and China. However, the underlying trend of consumers optimizing their digital consumption by screen size, within affordability constraints, continues in all regions. This trend can be seen from TV’s down to smartphones. In smartphones, it manifests in trends like price point polarization in the US, the rapid screen-size increases in emerging markets and phablet market development. These trends are forecast to continue to the end of year but we see new inflection points and market drivers for 2016.»

4G Phone 1
Huawei Smartphone. Click to buy

In N. America, +10 percent year-on-year growth in unit sales in Q2 2015. In this market, which like W. Europe is nearing saturation point, we see a price polarization as sales of high ($500+) and low end ($0-250) devices grew at the expense of mid-ranged devices ($250-500). Smartphones in the high end captured 43 percent of smartphone unit share in Q2 2015, up from 38 percent in 2Q 2014. N. America and China were the only regions to see an increase in high-end smartphone unit share on a year-on-year basis.

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