Samsung retains top spot amid decline in Global smartphone sale

23 February, 2018, 06:48 | Author: Sergio Cook
  • Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 4Q17 Source Gartner

Almost 408m smartphones were sold to consumers worldwide, in the final three months of a year ago, according to Gartner, a 5.6 per cent fall from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first fall since the research firm began tracking the market in 2004. Despite the decrease in smartphone sales for the quarter, sales for 2017 overall actually increased by 2.7% from 2016, with over 1.5 billion phones sold globally.

Gartner attributes the decline in smartphone sales to "lack of quality ultra-low-cost smartphones and users preferring to buy quality feature phones".

"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", Gupta noted.

The drop in sales during Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016 wasn't anything drastic, but seeing those numbers drop by 5.6% YoY was surprising as its the first yearly decline recorded since the agency began tracking the marketplace in 2004.

So, as we break down this data, it shows that Samsung had sold 76.7 million units during Q4 2016 but saw this number decline to 74 million during Q4 2017.

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2017 Source Gartner
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2017 Source Gartner

With 17.9% market share, Apple ranks second in the global smartphone sales in the December quarter. First, the later availability of the iPhone X led to slow upgrades to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as users waited to try the more expensive model.

Launches of its next flagship devices are likely to boost Samsung's smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2018, the report said, adding that although Samsung's significant sales volumes lean toward mid-price and entry-level models, which now face extreme competition and reducing contribution, its profit and average selling price may further improve if upcoming flagship smartphones are successful. Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2017 (Thousands of Units) Source: Gartner.

"Xiaomi's biggest market outside China is India, where it will continue to see high growth".

But more broadly, it seems clear that smartphones are reaching their saturation point, at which just about every human being who wants a smartphone has one. In fact, Huawei and Xiaomi were the only manufacturers from the top five which saw a growth in Q4 2017. Oppo dropped to fifth place with a 6.3 percent share, up by 0.1 percent points despite a small fall in sales. The other strategy of Xiaomi should be in increasing sales in Indonesia and other developing telecom markets in emerging APAC in order to position it as a strong global brand.

Samsung will rely on its next flagship devices which will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2018.

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