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Gartner the online research firm said it was expecting a big fall in sale growth of smartphones, projecting that the market would shrink from growth of 14.4% during 2015 to only 7% during 2016. The total shipments of smartphones for 2016 should reach 1.5 billion according to recently released data.
The peak for sales of smartphones was in 2010 when the research firm noted that the market expanded by more than 73%.
Signs of the predicted slowdown in the global market for smartphones have come into focus over the last year, with mature markets in the West saturated and the growth engine of China slowing as its demand becomes topped out.
Incentives for the consumer to upgrades his or her devices annually have softened as well, with Gartner saying that new devices only offer a slight incremental upgrade over hardware in the market and carriers have continually moved away from the subsidizing of upgrades.
In the emerging markets, Gartner says the lifetime of an average premium phone is 2.0 to 2.5 years, while the basic mobile have a lifetime that averages 3 years or more.
Gartner believes the best remaining opportunity for growth in the smartphone market in India, saying that sales of the feature phones represented 61% of all sales of mobile devices in 2015, leaving a great deal of place for upgrades as the smartphone continues to become less and less expensive.
Gartner is estimating that India will see sales of more than 139 million smartphones in 2016, with a growth from year over year of more than 29.5%.
It also noted that the average price for a mobile device in India has stayed under $70 and it is expecting that smartphones that remain less than $120 will continue contributing close to half of the overall sales of smartphones in India during 2016.
Apple does not seem to have much to cheer about due to their price point. However, the Cupertino, California based company held talks with the India government in May related to its smartphones and selling refurbished ones as well.
Jolla an alternative smartphone OS maker last year signed a new deal with OEM Intex in India to get devices that are running its Sailfish platform into the India market.
The first device with Sailfish for India, the Aqua Fish from Intex has a price of less than $120 and will be available later this year, although the launch was given a delay but will arrive shortly said officials.