Two words: market saturation.
According to Strategy Analytics, the Korean smartphone market growth for smartphones will slow down this year and possibly post a negative growth in 2016. The local market for smartphones is expected to grow 8% from a year earlier to around 33.1 million units this year.
This marks a remarkable slowdown from an explosive 717% on-year growth in 2010 as well as a 75% growth last year.
According to the report, the country's smartphone market will reach a peak of 33.8 million units in 2015. It will begin to post a negative increase rate of about 1% in 2016 and the overall market size will be down to 33.1 million units in the following year.
For a country with a total population of only 50 million, the outlook is not surprising.
It seems that the smartphone market already entered a maturity stage in 2012 and even before that, but was able to grow in 2012 for the demand of LTE (Long Term Evolution) phones. The local Korean market is expected to maintain the status quo, but Korean manufacturers are expected to look overseas for new markets.
According to market observers, smartphones markets in most newly emerging countries, including India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, are expected to post double-digit growth each year until 2017. India, for instance, is expected to see its smartphone market grow by an annual average of 30.2%.
(Nearly) everybody has smartphone in South Korea. Where is the next big market? What do you think?