Spending on mobile solutions projected to surpass US$410 billion in 2018

  • Innovation and favourable digital transformation policies pushing growth
  • Banking and government among industries projected to spend most

Spending on mobile solutions projected to surpass US$410 billion in 2018

Spending on mobility solutions is expected to grow 5.3% year on year in 2018 in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ), reaching more than S$540.7 billion (US$410.9 billion) reports the IDC Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide. This growth is expected to continue through 2021 with spending on mobility-related hardware, software, and services surpassing S$1.7 trillion (US$1.2 trillion) as the market achieves a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR 17-21) of 2.8%.

“Companies are focusing on improving user experience by deploying analytical tools, simplifying management with unified endpoint management, creating more employee focused apps and implementing holistic security solutions,” said IDC Asia/Pacific Practice Group associate research director Avinav Trigunait.

“In addition, government support and favourable policies for digital transformation, corporate support for anytime, anywhere working, and policies to lure millennials are helping drive overall mobility infrastructure and market development.”

Mobility services is the largest technology group for 2017, accounting for nearly 51% of overall mobility spending and reaching a mark of S$285.39 billion (US$216.93 billion) in 2021. The category is dominated by mobile connectivity services, which will deliver more than 95% of all mobility services spending.

However, enterprise mobility services, which are focused on the planning, implementation, operation, and maintenance and support of mobile strategies, applications, and devices or the final consumption of services through a mobile device, will see notable spending growth with a five-year (2017-21) CAGR of 15.8%.

Hardware will be the second largest technology category, with spending recorded at S$250.33 billion (US$190.27) for 2017. Smartphones will account for roughly 80-85% of all hardware spending throughout the forecast as consumers across APeJ upgrade their mobile phones and enterprises equip their workforce with handheld devices that can run mobile apps and communicate in real time.

The smartphone market for APeJ is primarily driven by China, which accounts for about 68.21% of the market share, followed by India at 8.84% market share for 2017.

Smartphones is observing the highest spending growth (CAGR 4.49%) followed by a modest spending growth (1.45% CAGR) by notebook computers throughout the forecast.

Despite being the smallest technology category, software will see strong spending growth (24.287% CAGR) over the five-year forecast. Mobile enterprise applications will be the largest segment of mobile software spending, growing to S$1.61 billion (US$1.22 billion) in 2021.

Businesses focus on managing mobile devices, wireless networks, and other mobile computing services with enterprise mobility management experiencing a five-year CAGR of 30.57%. However, all four software segments, including mobile enterprise security and enterprise mobility management, are forecast to deliver double-digit five-year CAGRs.

Consumers will provide more than 85% of total mobility spending throughout the forecast. Consumer spending is also forecast to slow considerably starting in 2019, when annual growth rates dip below 2%, contributing to a five-year CAGR of 2.66%.

The other industries that will see the largest spending on mobility solutions in 2018 are banking (S$13 billion or US$9.8 billion), followed by education (S$7.49 billion or US$5.69 billion), discrete manufacturing (S$6.91 billion or US$5.25 billion), and federal/central government (S$6.22 billion or US$4.73 billion).

In all four cases, a majority of the spending will go to mobile connectivity services and devices, primarily smartphones and notebook PCs. Enterprise mobility services will also be a significant spending category as these industries implement and execute their mobile strategies.

“In APeJ, mobility is strongly driven by a new generation of consumers who are embracing the mobile-first world and business models are built around that,” said IDC Asia/Pacific Practice Group research manager Ashutosh Bisht.

“Mobility investment by enterprises is expected to grow at a healthy rate throughout the forecast period with manufacturing, healthcare, education and public-sector industries as the key drivers. Organisation of medium (100-499) and very large (1000+) employee size would make around 62% of the mobility spend to improve the overall workforce efficiency,” Trigunait added.

IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide provides a granular view of key technology markets from a regional, vertical industry, use case, buyer, and technology perspective. It provides spending data on ten technology categories across 19 industries, five company size bands, and 53 countries.

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