Smartphone shipments would grow 5% in 2017 touching 1.6 billion units worldwide, led by consumers shift to premium devices, with Korean Samsung’s flagships making a dent so far in 2017, the US-based research firm Gartner Wednesday said.

Overall smartphone shipments will grow 5% in 2017, reaching nearly 1.6 billion units. End-user spending continues to shift from low-cost utility phones toward higher priced smartphones, it said in a statement.

“The Samsung S8 and S8 Plus have had a strong impact so far in 2017, with users undeterred by battery issues that affected the Note 7 at the end of 2016,” Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said.

A China-based research firm Risingsun also said that the South Korean company has shipped nearly 80 million units in Q1, 2017, while the Cupertino-based Apple shipped close to 51 million iPhones in the same period.

Cozza added that the continued premium smartphone growth in 2017 would also be highly dependent on the forthcoming anniversary edition of Apple’s iPhone, which should bring more-drastic feature and design upgrades than the last few iterations.

The US-based iPhone maker recently indicated that some new technologies and features might also appear in the new iPhone 8 such as augmented reality and improved machine learning.

The basic smartphone market is expected to record 686 million shipments in 2017, up 6.8% from 2016, according to Gartner.

Cozza also said that the Chinese players currently pushing basic smartphones with premium feel and features into the market would continue to strengthen the shift from low-end utility phones toward basic smartphones.

“Consumers have already accepted the greater value attained from the better capabilities of basic smartphones, compared to low-end utility devices. Therefore, the average selling prices of mid- and high-range smartphones continue to increase,” the research director added.

Source: ET Telecom


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