Holiday Shopping Frenzy May Not Do Much for Smartphones

By Steve Anderson November 14, 2012

While the upcoming holiday shopping season, which typically kicks off with the day after Thanksgiving traditionally known as "Black Friday", is likely to give most consumer-based industry a little boost, not every firm gets the same kind of boost. A report from the Gartner research firm says that, for smartphones, the boost that can be counted on will be less than normal.

The Gartner study suggests that, not surprisingly, people will be rather cautious in their Christmas shopping this year. A weak economy, increasing joblessness and several other factors combine to make consumers overall more careful in their selection of presents for others. Moreover, there will be a wide variety of items making their case for the customers' cash, and devices like tablets--which commonly have more functionality than a smartphone--will prove to be more attractive than the somewhat limited smartphone.


Image via Shutterstock

Gartner's study further detailed something of an overall shrink in the market for smartphone to begin with, as sales of the devices fell three percent in the third quarter of 2012 as compared to the third quarter of 2011. This represented a drop for the third quarter in a row, though sales of smartphones saw some terrific growth, climbing 47 percent in the same period. Additionally, the market may not have quite so much to worry about, as strong sales come in from China, reporting better than double growth in a year-over-year comparison. Sales went from 78 million the year previously to between 165 and 170 million this year.

Leading the way in global smartphone sales is Samsung, well ahead of perennial favorites Apple and Nokia. Nokia, however, has been on a downhill slide to number seven in the market, where early last year, it held the top slot.

There are several valid conclusions that can be drawn from this information. Smartphones are seeing substantial gains, so they're likely to prove attractive to buyers, especially with phones like the iPhone 5 from Apple and the recently-released Nexus 4 from LG and Google making a huge splash in markets. This could be leading to a flattening in the markets where the holiday shopping bonus typically given to many products is simply distributed throughout the year. With other top-notch products coming into play, that bonus could just be going elsewhere. But it's impossible to discount the frugal shopper effect, as economic conditions cause some to rethink holiday giving and instead focus on other things, like gift cards, food gifts, or homemade fare.

All of these things together add up to worthwhile support for the projection that there won't be a big push in sales for smartphones with the closing of the year, but rather that people will be picking up the devices throughout the year instead. Most any consumer electronics market--especially these days--has some volatility involved, but looking at the smartphone market is proof enough that it's likely to be unusually volatile for some time to come.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Frame Brings CAD Windows Apps into the Cloud

By: Peter Bernstein    3/27/2015

CAD Windows apps can now be moved to the cloud thanks to Menlo Park, California-based startup Frame (formerly MainFrame2). This represents what is lik…

Read More

Facebook's Internet-for-All Drone Set to Take Flight

By: Tara Seals    3/27/2015

Internet for the billions of underserved around the globe continues to get closer to reality. The latest is Facebook's plan to trial a version of its …

Read More

Tech, Media & Entertainment: 4K TV, Live Sports & Sony's Vue

By: Bob Wallace    3/27/2015

With change a constant in the technology, media and entertainment (TME) sector, it should come as no surprise that this past week alone saw important …

Read More

Study: Software 'Robots' Improving Business Operations

By: Casey Houser    3/26/2015

A recent study from Cognizant, a provider of information technology and business process outsourcing services, concludes that software "robots" are ha…

Read More

Google Fiber Moves Beyond the Novelty Phase

By: Tara Seals    3/26/2015

Google Fiber is gearing up to expand to one more metro area-Salt Lake City. The Utah capital will join the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-D…

Read More