Online-only smartphone sales key driver for 4G device uptake

Shipments of 4G devices are expected to increase by 8.67% CAGR between 2017 and 2021

Research and Markets has released its 4G devices outlook for the coming four years, revealing shipments of devices are set to increase by 8.67% by 2021, with the fastest growing sales channel being online.

The research firm explained that online purchases are having a big impact on the sales of smartphones, with many handsets exclusively available through online channels. Manufacturers have realised the value of selling their devices solely throung online marketpklaces, which saves distribution costs, yet still enables them to attract their target market - young, tech-savvy consumers that make the majority of their high-value purchases online.

"The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is online distribution of devices," an analyst from the research team said. "A very popular phenomenon that came up 2-4 years ago was that of exclusive online distribution of mobile computing devices such as smartphones."

The company explained the younger generations spend much of their time on the internet, using their PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones as a gateway.

"With the added convenience of doorstep delivery and getting in-depth details of the smartphones, people want to purchase products with exclusive offers available online such as cash back on purchases. This encourages the younger generation to purchase products through the online channels," tha analyst said.

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Internet speeds and the growing use of the internet have also had a positive impact on the purchasing of 4G devices. "With the rising digital communication, social media, and e-commerce, the penetration of the internet is expected to rise further," the report explained.

Despite internet penetration in APAC being the lowest of EMEA, the US and APAC, it accounted for 50% of 4G smartphone sales overall, demonstrating the power of the internet when considering distribution of 4G devices.

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