The smartphone market is expected to significantly decelerate in 2016, with developed markets such as the U.S., Canada, Western Europe and Japan weighing most heavily. Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.46 billion units in 2016, marking a year-over-year growth rate of 1.6%, according to the latest forecast from tech-industry tracker IDC. That is down sharply from 10.4% growth in the year-earlier period. More developed regions are expected to be the biggest drag on the market, with IDC anticipating a decline of 0.2% in those markets over the 2015-2020 forecast period. Shares of smartphone market leader Alphabet Inc. have risen 5.5% in the past three months, while those of second-runner-up Apple Inc. have increased nearly 8%. The S&P 500 , meanwhile, is up 3.5%.
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