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Phone cases and power banks set to boom over next 3 years

Protective phone cases and power banks are expected to be among the biggest winners in the mobile accessories market over the next three years according to the latest report from Future Market Insights (FMI).

Although chargers continue to lead and the global market for phone cases is very much dependent on new phone sales, demand for protective cases is robust, with this segment accounting for one-fifth of the overall market. FMI expects demand for protective cases to remain strong during the forecast period 2015-2025.

Driven by their exceptional barrier properties, market players continue to bank on plastics such as polypropylene (PP) and polyurethane (PU) for manufacturing mobile phone cases and covers.

However, many manufacturers are now turning to more sustainable or biodegradable alternatives such as bamboo, fabric, vegan leather and post-consumer recycled plastics in a bid to remain competitive.

Some of these next-gen mobile phone cases and covers are eco-friendly and entirely compostable, but offer just as good protection as their traditional, plastic counterparts. FMI says this paradigm shift towards sustainable substrates will have a significant impact on mobile phone cases and covers market in the coming years.

Where power banks are concerned, FMI reported that the inability of modern-day smartphone batteries to withstand heavy usage has led to robust demand here.

Owing to “stellar demand”, FMI said, the power bank segment is expected to gain 230 basis points (BPS) during the forecast period, and increase its market share from 10% in 2014 to 12.3% in 2025. Power bank segment is also expected to witness the highest CAGR, growing at 9% between 2015-2025.

Smartphone sales are buoyant in emerging economies, such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia. Smartphone shipments increased from 1.1 Bn units in 2013 to 1.2 Bn units in 2014. Around 45% of these 1.2 Bn units were shipped to China. FMI expects the rising smartphone ownership to create secondary demand for products that are not usually included in the box, such as power banks and protective cases.

In addition to multination brands, the smartphone segment in emerging nations also includes regional players, such as Xiaomi and Micromax.

FMI’s analysis revealed that compared to multinational brands, these local players offer fewer mobile accessories in their offerings in a bid to keep the prices competitive. Owing to this, a majority of consumers buy mobile accessories from the local market or from e-commerce sites, the company said. Increase in the sales of smartphones made by local manufacturers is expected to provide an impetus to the mobile phone accessories market during the forecast period.

FMI said that the mushrooming of multi-brand distributors and retailers has given mobile phone accessory manufacturers the opportunity to target a larger customer base.

In addition, sales of mobile phone accessories through e-tailers is also contributing to the growth of the market globally. FMI expects both multi-brand stores and e-commerce stores to expand during the forecast period, which in turn, is anticipated to provide an impetus to the global mobile phone accessories market.

Although FMI maintains a positive outlook on the global mobile phone accessories market, few factors can restrain the growth during the forecast period.

Lack of stringent checks on pirated accessories is eating into the revenue share of key stakeholders in the market, FMI said. Pirated mobile accessories are offered at a fraction of the price of original products, making it difficult for manufacturers to compete with them.

Currently, there is also a lack of standardisation in technology and components used for manufacturing mobile accessories. Undefined standards in the market lead to high product and price differentiation, this may hinder growth of the mobile accessories market to some extent, the market analyst said.

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