Every year, we witness the release of new smartphones. The number of people who own a smartphone at the time of writing is over 85% of the world’s population, meaning close to 7 billion people have a smartphone. That is an incredible number but with so many new smartphones being released, has the buzz around the release of new devices died?
Worldwide figures show that in 2019, a total of 1.52 billion smartphone units were sold. Considering over 6.5 billion people own a smartphone, this number should not come as a surprise but it shows just how many people invested in a new handset. In 2020, worldwide smartphone sales rose to over 1.5 billion. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center shows everyone in South Korea owns a mobile device and is connected. They do not all necessarily own a smartphone but those who do not own one now, may decide to buy one this year and opt for a new release. So, in terms of the numbers of people owning smartphones and general sales figures, this is likely to continue rising, especially as the demographics change over time.
Big Name Smartphone Brands
The two biggest individual smartphone manufacturers in the world are Samsung and Apple. They operate on different platforms, with Samsung smartphones using Android and Apple using iOS. If we look at the global smartphone market share by shipments in the last quarter of 2021, Apple enjoyed 22% and Samsung 18%. This shows they are regularly sending out new smartphones to retailers, businesses, and individuals. Samsung and Apple release new smartphones every year and as of 2023, the latest releases will be the Apple iPhone 15 and the Samsung Galaxy S22. These companies would not continue to invest in new devices if they were not selling. However, are they still creating a buzz as they are released?
Apple iPhone 14 Release
The Apple iPhone 14 is the current top of the range smartphone model for Apple. If we take Singapore as an example, the iPhone 14 was released in September 2022 and such was the buzz surrounding the release of the device, people queued outside the Apple store on Orchard Road to buy the phone. They did not turn up on the morning of the release, they queued overnight in a line near the store and waited for it to open. Some people flew in from other countries specifically to purchase the iPhone 14 as soon as it became available, with people in the queue from Vietnam and Malaysia. While people were waiting in line, they used their current devices to play games and chat to pass the time, with some choosing online casino games and others opting for WhatsApp chats. Some of those who came from other countries queued with their luggage, ready to head back to the airport and fly home with their new smartphone.
Based on the events in Singapore in 2022, the buzz surrounding new smartphone releases is alive and well. Thanks to the number of smartphone manufacturers today, the market may be more diluted than it was a decade ago but when it comes to the big brand releases, people still want to be the first to have the device in their hand.