Smartphone growth flattens -- Android conquers all, and iPhone is... resting

Android to hit 84% share this year. But I’m not quite ready to write an “iPhone is dead” headline.

IDC smartphone market share

IDC admits it was wrong—the smartphone sales slump is even worse than it thought. iPhone share is actually shrinking, while Android climbs ever-more dizzying heights.

Total growth will fall this year to a mere 3.1%, say IDC’s prognosticators. But BlackBerry and Windows Phone are, of course, dead.

There’s some hope that iPhone growth will recover in its anniversary year. But the Android steamroller means iPhone is predicted to stay below 15% share this decade.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers weep—for the mighty have fallen. Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Did I mention Windows Phone is dead?

What’s the craic? Tiernan Ray guns his reporting engine: [I don’t care that it’s your birthday; you’re fired -Ed.]

More bad news for the smartphone market...from a growth standpoint: [IDC] revised down its growth of 3.1%...way down from 10.5% shipment growth last year.

“Apple can bring iPhone back to growth...supported by its early trade-in program [and] the lower cost iPhone SE.” [But] devices running [Android] should see a...rise of 6.2% in units.

By 2020, Android should have...85.1%, while iPhone may be at 14.5% [and] Windows Phone is expected to drop to just 0.4%.

What’s going on? Brad Linder cuts to the chase, in IDC predicts smartphone growth:

There aren’t as many first-time buyers as there used to be. [But] that’s still a lot of phones: as many as 1.48 billion.

IDC’s prediction is [for] growth in the US, Western Europe, and the single digits. Japan and China...decline by between 6 and 7 percent. ... Customers move away from...2-year upgrade cycles and buy their phones outright.

Meanwhile, Windows phones are expected to continue their steady slide into oblivion.

Preciousss data: We neeeds it. IDC’s Ryan Reith, Anthony Scarsella, and Michael Shirer crank the PR handle—Worldwide Smartphone Growth Forecast to Slow to 3.1%:

Smartphone shipments are expected to grow 3.1% in 2016...a substantial slowdown from...27.8% in 2014. ... Smartphone buying behavior is changing.

Devices powered by [Android] are expected to grow 6.2%. [Its share] is expected to 84% in 2016 with an average selling price of $218.

Apple is expected to face its first down year for iPhone...with shipments dropping...2%. [It] marks a pivotal moment.

Whether or not we see a Surface still anyone's guess. ... If so it is likely [not to have] a mass market focus.

But the Apple fanbois are putting a brave face on the news. Killian Bell rings the changes—iPhone shipments will get worse before they get better:

Apple is confident the iPhone will bounce back from its current slump. ... IDC adds is confident growth will late 2017 after Apple launches the iPhone 7.

But the Windows Phone fanbois are hilariously, delusionally apoplectic. Mike King, for example:

0.4 percent in 2020? ... Who is paying IDC to make these predictions.

Obviously Google/Apple are very afraid of Microsoft's mobile plans. ... That's why they order their controlled assets (media, etc..) to spread as much negativity as possible about Windows.

They conveniently ignore...the fact that Microsoft is fully committed to succeeding in this market. [In] the past, it has always worked for them.

And Finally…

Jean-Luc reacts to Mike King’s totally believable conspiracy theory

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon