Telco analyst, Ovum, expects mobile phone shipments will hit 836 million in 2016 off the back of growing emerging markets and the proliferation of broadband enabled handsets.
In Ovum’s latest forecast,Mobile Phone Forecast 2011-16, the mobile handset market has been pegged for steady growth of 2.8 per cent over the next five years, with shipments increasing by more than 128 million from 2011 to 2016.
Ovum also forecasts a global growth of 2.5 per cent over the next five years, with shipments growing by more than 230 million to reach 1.77 billion in 2016.
“Much of the growth in Asia-Pacific will be fuelled by mobile connections in the emerging markets, where the number of mobile phone users continues to steadily increase,” Ovum principal analyst, Adam Leach, said.
“Within the region, the Big Three markets of China, India and Indonesia will continue to be the growth engines for global mobile connections and handset shipments.”
Leach also expects the arrival of cheaper smartphones into these markets to boost growth of the devices and data ARPU (average revenue per user) for operators, while rural communities in China, India and Indonesia will continue to adopt feature phones.
The switch to 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks by operators will also play a key role, with Ovum forecasting that shipments of mobile broadband enabled handsets will reach 372 million units in Asia Pacific by 2016, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7 per cent over the next five years.
“Increasing consumer appetite for smartphones is a major factor in driving the growth in the market for mobile broadband enabled handsets,” Leach explained.
“However, smartphones are not the only story and there will still be growth in non-smart broadband phones, particularly in the emerging markets.”
Ovum recently found that the mobile broadband market across the Asia-Pacific region is expected to hit revenues of $108 billion in 2015.