International Data Corporation (IDC) recently announced the number of units shipped in the Japan mobile device market (comprised of smartphones, tablets (including e-Readers), PCs, and data communication devices, such as data cards and personal routers) in the third quarter of 2014 (3Q14) and its mobile device forecast for 2014-2018.
According to IDC’s Japan Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker, the number of mobile devices shipped in Japan in 3Q14 was 10.4 million, a drop of -19.9% on a year-over-year basis. The main factors behind this contraction were user restraints in purchasing a new device just before the release of the most advanced iPhones to the market and a significant reduction in the number of devices shipped due to weak sales of Android OS-powered smartphones. In the PC market, the number of devices shipped also declined significantly following the exceptional demand associated with the termination of support for Windows XP.
The 2014 smartphone market is showing signs of improvement in both the number of devices sold and number of devices shipped since the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but is still expected to record negative growth on an annual basis. In terms of the PC market, the negative trend will continue for the fourth quarter and may produce similar results for the full year. As a result, the forecast for the entire Japan mobile market in 2014 is 51.4 million devices (25.7 million smartphones, 8.2 million tablets, 15.4 million PCs, and 2.1 million other data communication devices such as data cards), down -8.6% year-over-year.
Michito Kimura, Senior Market Analyst for PC, Mobile & Client Solutions with IDC Japan, commented on the 2015 forecast, “It is possible that the smartphone market will improve to regain positive growth, but it is anticipated that growth in the tablet market will rapidly slow down while the PC market also contracts by more than 10%, leading to sales of 50.3 million devices (approximately 27 million smartphones, 8.3 million tablets, 13 million PCs, and 2 million other devices), an contraction of -2.3% year-on-year.”