IDC: 1.3B smartphones will ship in 2014 but growth will slow

International Data Corporation’s latest forecast projects gadgets makers will ship 1.3 billion smartphones in 2014, and per usual, Android handsets will dominate, accounting for more than one billion, or 82 percent, of those phones. 1.3 billion devices would represent a 26.3 percent increase over last year’s total shipments, but IDC cautions that the smartphone’s rapid growth is starting to level out.

In 2015, IDC predicts 1.4 billion smartphones will ship in 2015, which is most definitely growth, but only represents an increase if 12.2 percent over 2014. IDC recently found a similar trend in worldwide tablet shipments except much more pronounced.

Operating System 2014 Shipment Volumes 2014 Shipment
Market Share
2014 Value (USD) 2014 Value
Market Share
Android 1,060 million 82.3% $255,102,000,000 66.6%
iOS 178 million 13.8% $116,540,000,000 30.4%
Windows 35 million 2.7% $7,782,000,000 2.0%
Other 14 million 1.1% $3,480,000,000 0.9%

IDC anticipates the smartphone’s deceleration will continue into 2018 with 1.9 billion shipments in that year. At that point, IDC expects the emerging markets will account for a good deal of growth, and prices will drop accordingly. The average smartphone selling price in 2014 is about $241 worldwide, but in emerging markets like India prices are averaging $135.

“The impact of upstart Chinese players in the global market will be reflected in a race to the bottom when it comes to price, IDC Senior Research Manager Melissa Chau said in a statement. “While premium phones aren’t going anywhere, we are seeing increasingly better specs in more affordable smartphones. Consumers no longer have to go with a top-of-the-line handset to guarantee decent hardware quality or experience.”

Apple will ship 178 million iPhones in 2014, giving it a market share of 14 percent, according to IDC, while Microsoft’s Windows Phone will account for 35 million shipments with a market share of just below 3 percent. Though iOS may wind up being a distance second to Android in total handsets, Apple is playing far above its weight when it comes to monetary value. Of the $382 billion in total smartphone sales this year, iPhones will land about 30 percent of the total market, IDC found.

Charts by Biz Carson / Gigaom