Bad news for the mobile development industry: IDC is predicting slower growth in smartphone sales as the Chinese market matures. For 2016, the firm forecasts 1.5 billion smartphone shipments, a 5.7 percent increase from the previous year. Smartphone shipments grew 10.4 percent in 2015, but IDC now believes that could be the last year of double-digit growth.
The U.S., China and Western Europe are now mature smartphone markets, and most of the sales growth is happening in places like India, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa. However, few buyers in these regions can afford high-end smartphones, which could be bad for manufacturers like Apple and Samsung.