In 2017, it’s estimated that smartphone manufacturers (as a whole) produced a whopping 1.46 billion devices, which resembles a generous 6.5 percent growth in the phone market relative to 2016, according to the latest analysis put forth by market research firm TrendForce.
The findings, which were originally conveyed in a 9to5Mac report, conclude that overall smartphone market growth “will be slower in 2018” as component and production costs continue to soar.
While TrendForce projects overall smartphone sales to slump in the year to come, the firm notes that sales of Apple’s iPhone will “increase significantly” even as industry leaders like Samsung are poised to experience stagnation.
“As the industry leader, Samsung will remain the top for smartphone production in 2018, but will witness a 3% drop in production volume because of great challenges and fierce competition brought by its rivals, including Apple in high-end market and a number of Chinese brands with Android OS,” TrendForce noted.
Meanwhile, the firm predicts Apple only stands to continue its trend of growth in 2018, adding that iPhone production should grow by about 7.5 percent this year — with iPhone X (and its predecessors) dominating the high-end of the market. Corroborating multiple previous reports, TrendForce says Apple will launch a second generation of its powerful yet pint-sized iPhone SE flagship to satisfy mid-range buyers.
As far as what Apple has in store for its iPhone lineup in 2018, TrendForce appears to offer up a largely generalized and somewhat echoed prediction of what to expect, indicating that “New iPhones in 2018 will continue to improve Face ID technology, screen to body ratio, etc.”
“Moreover, the company plans to increase the memory content and embed AMOLED display in two of its models,” TrendForce added, echoing the sentiments of previous reports suggesting that Apple has an iPhone X Plus and more in the works.
Interestingly, however, while it’s been reported that Samsung, LG, and other Android makers are scrambling to acquire the components necessary to build Face ID cameras of their very own, in its analysis, TrendForce suggests that Apple’s iPhone will be “the only brand to have advanced face recognition” in 2018, citing “technical barriers” as the main reason other brands will employ fingerprint recognition.
Fortunately, some of those fingerprint sensors will be of the glass-embedded variety, according to today’s analysis, which would add fuel to reports that the next-generation fingerprint reader will debut on a “top 5 Android brand” in 2018.