Business

Average selling price of phones went up 7% in Q3, a new record

Do recent smartphones feel more expensive? Its more than just your gut feeling, data by GfK shows a record rise in the average selling price (ASP) of phones for the third quarter of this year – it’s up by 7% compared to the same period last year.

Global demand rose moderately (up 3% YoY) to a total of 367 million units the highest number for this period of the year. This growth was driven by Latin America (+11%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+9%) as traditionally strong markets are seeing a decline.

Western Europe was the destination for 30.9 million phones, down 7% compared to last year. But maker revenues are up as the ASP went up 11%. One in eight smartphones sold over the three month period cost above $900. Last year only one in sixteen cost that much.

Compare that to the Central and Eastern parts of Europe. In total, they bought 22.3 million units (up 9%) with the ASP going up a whopping 26%! That shows a massive shift towards buying higher-end devices in the region.

Smartphone sales
3Q 2017 vs. 3Q 2016

Units sold (in million)
Sales value (in billion USD)

3Q17
3Q16
Y/Y % change
3Q17
3Q16
Y/Y % change
Western Europe
30.9
33.2
-7%
13.7
13.2
4%
Central and Eastern Europe
22.3
20.5
9%
5.4
4.3
26%
North America
49.3
50.0
-1%
19.1
18.9
1%
Latin America
27.8
25.1
11%
8.8
7.8
13%
Middle East & Africa
45.2
41.9
8%
10.7
10.2
5%
China
117.0
111.9
5%
38.3
31.9
20%
Developed Asia
16.4
17.6
-7%
10.3
11.3
-9%
Emerging Asia
57.7
55.2
5%
10.5
8.7
21%
GLOBAL
366.6
355.4
3%
116.8
106.3
10%

Latin America sales were up 11%, driven mostly by demand in Brazil. The Middle East and Africa also saw rising sales and GfK believes that Sub-Saharan and South African countries will continue to drive demand as smartphones displace the still-popular featurephones in the region.

Even China, home to many budged-friendly phone brands, saw a significant 15% increase in ASP on the back of rising demand 117 million phones were sold during the quarter. Other Asian countries showed even stronger demand with Malaysia and Bangladesh seeing sales rise 25% and 22% respectively.

Things look different in South Korea sales dropped 15% to 16.4 million units and GfK lowered its 2017 sales estimate.

Below is GfK’s forecast for the full year 2017.

Smartphone sales
2017 vs. 2016

Units sold (in million)
Sales value (in billion USD)

2017 sales
2016 sales
Y/Y % change
2017 sales
2016 sales
Y/Y % change
Western Europe
126.7
131.0
-3%
56.6
53.5
6%
Central and Eastern Europe
85.2
78.0
9%
21.0
16.8
25%
North America
201.1
198.5
1%
80.6
77.5
4%
Latin America
115.4
105.9
9%
36.2
30.9
17%
Middle East & Africa
176.8
168.9
5%
41.9
42.1
0%
China
464.3
448.5
4%
154.3
133.1
16%
Developed Asia
70.1
72.9
-4%
44.7
46.1
-3%
Emerging Asia
238.6
214.5
11%
43.0
34.5
25%
GLOBAL
1,478.2
1,418.2
4%
478.3
434.5
10%

Source