TOKYO -- There are now essentially two markets for smartphone components. At one, robust demand holds sway. At the other, prices are falling. Both markets are taking shape as the growth of smartphone shipments slows. The difference is that smartphones need more of some components than others.
U.S. research company IDC estimates global smartphone shipments in 2017 increased 1.2%, to 1.49 billion units. The market had enjoyed double-digit growth, but now that China, the world's largest market, is saturated, growth is flattening.