Bottom Line: Market perils revealed even as the long mobile boom goes on

 
Marc Sidwell
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IS THE smartphone boom tailing off? Imagination Technologies’ acknowledgement of lower (but still strong) growth rates in the smartphone market might seem worrying. Mobiles and tablets have seen exponential growth since 2009. Surely that can’t go on forever?

We’re not done yet. More than 200m tablets will be sold this year. Smartphones will treble between 2012 and 2017 to more than 3bn worldwide. A two-year replacement cycle and devices you can’t share mean most customers will repeat buy.

But mobile is still tough. As Imagination says, the low end is seeing the lion’s share of growth. And at the top, a few big firms leave a chip designer like Imagination sensitive to both their willingness to licence its technology or, as here, a slowdown in demand. It’s not a trend yet, but any wobble is hard if you sit where Imagination does.

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