Growth in the worldwide mobile phone market is forecast to slow to 1.4 percent this year, due to the weak global economy, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts.
This is the lowest annual growth rate in three years, despite a projected record number of smartphone shipments in the holiday season. Vendors are estimated to ship more than 1.7 billion mobile phones this year, rising to 2.2 billion in 2016.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, IDC forecast smartphone shipments of 224.5 million, up 39.5 per cent year-over-year. Over the full year 2012, smartphone shipments are forecast to grow 45.1 per cent to 717.5 million units. Smartphone growth is driven by new flagship devices, such as Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, as well as lower-cost Android phones shipped to China and other emerging markets.
IDC expects Android will maintain its lead among smartphone OS, with a share of 63.8 per cent in 2016. Windows Phone will show the fastest growth over the period, at a compound annual growth rate of 71.3 per cent, to reach an estimated market share of 11.4 per cent in 2016.
Likewise, the global telecom sector is under pressure from a number of sources like cable operators, over-the-top providers such as Google and WhatsApp, and newcomers in the mobile market. At the same time, the level of investment is high, due to spectrum auctions and the roll-out of next-generation networks for fiber-to-the-home and long term evolution, it added.The operators are using various ways to cut down costs like network sharing and local mergers for cost savings. Some are listing subsidiaries on the stock market, splitting up the company and lobbying with the national regulators and at the International Telecommunication Union for a more friendly regime