The smartphone is more alive than ever

At IFA everything revolves around new developments in entertainment electronics and networking. The smartphone plays a central role here. A study highlights it as a central economic factor.

Ten years after the breakthrough, the smartphone is becoming increasingly important for the German economy. In the next five years, the sales that would be achieved with the help of the all-rounder cell phones rose by around a third to more than 60 billion euros, said telecommunications expert Klaus Böhm from the consulting firm Deloitte on Wednesday at the start of the International Consumer Electronics Fair (IFA) in Berlin. In 2022, the smartphone will provide 1.7 percent of German economic output. According to Deloitte and the industry association Bitkom, which jointly published a study, this is still calculated conservatively.

“The smartphone is also an economic factor outside of the device industry,” said Böhm. “The main growth driver is trade.” For example, more and more Germans are ordering new clothes or other goods from online providers such as Amazon or Zalando using their mobile phones. New applications in the field of digital health could definitely increase the revenues from the universal devices.

“The smartphone is more alive than ever,” said Bitkom consumer electronics expert Timm Lutter. 81 percent of Germans currently use such a universal device. “Everyone under 50 has a smartphone.” There is still growth potential among retirees; in the 65 plus generation, 41 percent had a corresponding device.

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Sales figures are falling in the face of this market saturation. According to the study “Consumer Technology 2017”, sales in Germany will fall to 24.07 million devices from 24.22 million smartphones in the previous year. In contrast, sales are expected to increase by four percent to 9.77 billion euros, mainly because larger devices (phablets) are in demand. The smartphone is “the device for which Germans have spent the most money in recent years,” said Lutter.