News Worms
News Worms

Smartphone sales suffer first ever decline: Gartner

Smartphone sales suffer first ever decline: Gartner

Emerging players Huawei and Xiaomi, meanwhile, were the only two to record a rise in sales in the same period, with manufacturers Xiaomi recording a staggering 79% growth in sales, followed by Huawei with the second fastest-growing sales at 7.6%.

The drop in the worldwide sales of smartphones is the first year-on-year decline since Gartner started tracking the global smartphone market in 2004.

While Samsung and Apple maintained their place in the market during fourth quarter, Gartner claims that Chinese OEMs Huawei and Xiaomi were the "big winners" of the quarter.

According to Gartner, Samsung increased its market share from 17.8 percent to 18.2 percent, putting it in a clear lead ahead of rival Apple. The US-based company sold 73.17 million smartphones in the December quarter against 77.03 million a year ago.

According to Gartner's research director Anshul Gupta, there are two reasons behind the sales numbers fall.

Samsung continues to be the market share leader despite a 3.6 percent decline with 74 million units shipped, compared to $76.8 million in Q4 2016.

Secondly, as phone makers increasingly focus on high-end, expensive mobes, "users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle of smartphones".

"Moreover, while demand for high quality, 4G connectivity, and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales", the analyst added.

Apple faced challenges due to the later availability of iPhone X that led to slow upgrades to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. That's because new-phone users tend to re-download their favorite and most-used apps, upgrade apps they haven't updated in a while, and try new apps, particularly those that take advantage of new technological capabilities in newer devices.

In operating system market share, Google's Android extended its lead over iOS capturing 85.9% of the market.

Huawei has launched a selection of new smartphones over the past year in different pricing brackets and Xiaomi is becoming an increasingly competitive force in the market due to a focus on affordable low and mid-range handsets. "Increasing sales in Indonesia and other markets in emerging Asia Pacific region will position Xiaomi as a strong global brand", Gupta said. Huawei, ranked No. 3 with 9.8 percent share, raised its share in 2017, continuing to gain on Apple (14.0%).


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