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Press release
Press|Global|English

Consumers spent €210 billion on smartphones worldwide in the first half year 2019

Nuremberg, 04.09.2019

In the period January to June this year, consumers purchased smartphones worth €210 billion worldwide. Following strong momentum from last year, consumers are expected to spend €1 trillion on technical consumer goods in 2019, of which about 43 percent will be on smartphones with increasingly higher specs. These are GfK’s findings for the global smartphone market to be released at IFA 2019 in Berlin.

Delivering increasingly sophisticated photo and video capture continues to be success factor in the smartphone sector. Smartphones with a combination of a 6-7" display, a 20MP+ camera and 128GB+ storage accounted for 16 percent of smartphone revenues or €33 billion in the first six months of 2019, up from only 3 percent in the same period of 2018.

Performance features enable rich experiences

Going hand-in-hand with the race for high megapixel cameras, multi-camera adoption has been gaining momentum as well. While dual rear cameras accounted for 50 percent of the global smartphone sales value in the first half year 2019, triple rear camera devices keep growing their market share, and accounted for 20 percent in January to June 2019, up from 1 percent in the same period last year. That is driven by a combination of single front – triple rear cameras that accounted for 16 percent in first half of 2019.

Smartphone processors have been the key enabler of improved/strong device performance. 18 percent of smartphones sold in the first half of 2019 feature processors operating in the 2.5-2.8GHz range, up from just 5 percent in the same period last year. This jump in the availability of powerful smartphones is linked to demand for rich mobile experiences and the growth of processing power-hungry applications such as gaming. Smartphone processors have not only become faster over the years, their fundamental architecture has changed, too. For example, two thirds of handsets purchased globally are now equipped with octa-core processors, up 6 percent from 2018. Arguably, 5G is one of the most eagerly anticipated smartphone features this year. The first operators switched on their 5G services from April 1. 5G-enabled smartphones achieved a 41 percent share of all purchased smartphones in June in South Korea.

Alongside these performance features, premium priced smartphones accounted for 8 percent of sales unit share in the first half year of 2019, up from 6 percent in the same period in 2018.

Simplification is fueling growth

The smartphone industry spotlight is not only on handsets. Smartwatches are one of the devices that have captured consumers’ imagination as they have the potential to simplify the way the smartphone technology isused. From a sales value point of view, smartwatches grew by 47 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year.

Igor Richter, GfK expert for the telecom industry comments: “Capturing and sharing special moments and having fun on-the-go with your device requires an optimal balance of features. Smartphone features are constantly evolving driven by technological innovation and consumer demand, and it seems we can’t get enough of photo and video capabilities on our phones. This need for more has led to a rise in multi-cameras on devices and better processors as the use of power-hungry applications is gaining momentum.”

Notes to Editors

The global trends analysis presented here is based on various GfK research methods such as point of sale tracking as well as consumer research in the Technical Consumer Goods market in 2019. All turnover figures in this press release is based on a fixed currency exchange rate.

During IFA 2019, GfK will be publishing press releases relating to IT, TV, Smartphones, Audio, Small Domestic Appliances, Major Domestic Appliances, Smart Home, Borderless Shopping and the Technical Consumer Goods Market. More information is available at www.gfk.com/press-room/.

Meet GfK at IFA in Berlin, September 6 - 11, 2019:

Come and chat with our experts at IFA NEXT Hall 26 and in the GfK office at the IFA (Level 4, VIP2, Großer Stern).

About GfK

GfK connects data and science. Innovative research solutions provide answers for key business questions around consumers, markets, brands and media – now and in the future. As a research and analytics partner, GfK promises its clients all over the world “Growth from Knowledge”. For more information, please visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter: twitter.com/GfK.

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