Global smartphone demand fell two percent to 347 million units in the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), according to the GFK research group (www.gfk.com). Demand was especially sluggish in China (down 6% year-on-year) and North America (down 5% year-on-year).
However, global smartphone average sales price (ASP) growth accelerated further to 21% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018. As a result, revenue grew 18% year-on-year to $129.8 billion despite the fall in demand.
“We start the year with a very different picture to the final quarter of 2017, when smartphone demand records were broken. In the first quarter of 2018 by comparison, there was a year-on-year decline in global smartphone demand. It’s perhaps no surprise as we hit saturation point in more markets,” Arndt Polifke, GfK’s telecom expert, says. “On the other hand, consumers are tending to choose higher-priced models as they embrace the latest innovations offered by smartphone brands. As a result, the average sales price grew by an astonishing 21% year-on-year to $374. This led to 18%t revenue growth globally, which is exceptional for a maturing industry.”