Often-fragile smartphones have been a source of revenue growth for the industry
New York, NY (PRWEB) May 14, 2014
The cell phone repair industry has experienced strong growth during the past decade as smartphone and data usage have increased. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Sarah Kahn, “The rising popularity of expensive damage-prone smartphones gave the industry a significant boost.” Consequently, industry revenue is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 4.9% during the five years to 2014 to total $1.4 billion. However, moving forward, the increasing affordability of these devices, largely due to falling semiconductor prices, is encouraging more consumers to purchase new cell phones rather than repairing their existing ones. Nevertheless, revenue is expected to increase 1.7% in 2014.
Internet-enabled smartphones are more expensive than basic-feature phones and are therefore more likely to be repaired rather than replaced. Smartphones also have fragile LCD touchscreens, inaccessible batteries and other breakable parts that make them more susceptible to repair. Smartphones currently represent more than two-thirds of all mobile phone sales and half of all mobile phone users. Rapid market acceptance of smartphones has created a need for more cell phone repair shops to keep up with this growing market. In 2012, smartphone penetration exceeded 100.0%, only five years after the release of Apple's iPhone. As a result, during the five years to 2014, the number of cell phone repair shops has grown at an average rate of 5.8% per year to 2,609 locations.
During the five years to 2019, industry revenue is forecast to grow at a significantly lower annualized rate. “This slower growth is primarily due to rapid technological change, the falling price of cell phones, and rising disposable incomes encouraging the replacement rather than repair of devices,” says Kahn. Smartphone adoption is reaching its saturation point and the emergence of 4G LTE wireless technology (and an increasing number of 4G LTE enabled devices being released) should encourage a more rapid transition to the new technology, discouraging customers from repairing older devices. Falling prices have supported demand for new smartphones, providing incentives for consumers to replace their existing phones with newer ones. An expected rise in consumer sentiment and per capita disposable income over the next five years will encourage more consumers to replace rather than repair their broken cell phones. Nevertheless, operators repairing tablets that have penetrated the market more rapidly than any other technology are expected to enjoy higher profit margins.
The cell phone repair industry is highly fragmented and small operators dominate the industry. The top four players are estimated to account for less than 10.0% of industry revenue in 2014, indicating a low industry concentration. There are a large number of small firms in the industry specializing in cell phone repair services that operate independently and are targeted to serve a small geographic region. Industry concentration has remained relatively stable in the past five years as cell phone repair services are generally owned by small, independent operators.
For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Cell Phone Repair in the US industry report page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
The cell phone repair industry primarily repairs and maintains cell phones. Some operators may also repair tablets such as iPads or other electronic devices as secondary businesses, which are also included in industry revenue. Industry operators include brick-and-mortar stores, which allow customers to bring in their cell phones for repair. Some stores also allow customers to mail in devices that need repairs.
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Products & Services
Globalization & Trade
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
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