Worldwide smartphone sales hit 403 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 9.7 percent increase over the same period in 2014, according to latest report from Gartner, Inc. However, the research firm said that this was their slowest growth rate since 2008.
Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner
Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors. An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.
He further added that 85 percent of users in the emerging Asia/Pacific market are replacing their current midrange phone with the same category of phone. Another reason is the ongoing currency devaluations against the U.S. dollar in many emerging markets that is putting further margin pressure on many vendors that import devices. As a result of the current market conditions, some of the vendors are looking forward to set up manufacturing operations in India and Indonesia to avoid being hit by future unfavorable currency devaluations and high import taxes.
According to the report, in 2015 as a whole, smartphone sales reached 1.4 billion units, an increase of 14.4 percent from 2014. Giving insights about the top vendors, the report states that sales of iPhone declined for the first time in fourth quarter of 2015, even as global smartphone sales exhibited slowest growth since 2008.
In Q4 2015, Samsung topped the charts with a market share of 20.7% however its market share declined by 2.2 percentage points in case of total sales of smartphones in 2015. Meanwhile, iPhone sales were down 4.4 percent and it had a market share of 17.7%. Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi came in third, fourth and fifth with 8%, 5% and 4.5% market share respectively.
In terms of smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android increased 16.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, to account for 80.7 percent of the global total. Windows and BlackBerry recorded a mere 1.1% and 0.2% market share in Q4 2015.
Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner
In case of operating system (OS) market, Android increased 16.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, to account for 80.7 percent of the global total. Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015,” said In the premium segment, despite Apple’s slower year-over-year fourth-quarter sales, Apple narrowed the market share gap with Samsung in 2015 as a whole.