Global smartphone sales fell for first time in Q4 2017, says Gartner

Apple iPhone X, Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comparison

There’s no question that smartphones have been getting increasingly popular over the past 10 years or so as devices get more features, faster performance, and lower prices. However, during the final months of 2017, smartphone adoption actually declined for the first time.

Gartner Research reports that during Q4 2017, global smartphone sales totaled nearly 408 million units, which is a 5.6 percent decline compared to Q4 2016. That’s the first year-over-year decline that Gartner Research has found since it started tracking the smartphone market in 2004.

As for why this decline occurred, Gartner research director Anshul Gupta points to two factors. The first is upgrades from feature phones to smartphones declined due to a lack of good “ultra low-cost” smartphones and those people buying good feature phones instead. The second factor is that consumers buying a replacement smartphone are increasingly choosing to buy a quality device and keeping it longer, which lengthens the typical replacement cycle of smartphones.

This is really interesting news, but it was also bound to happen. Most smartphones have gotten to the point where they can handle the majority of tasks that their owners give them, and in recent years there hasn’t been a huge new feature to give consumers a reason to upgrade. An example of something that could convince a lot of people to upgrade is 5G, but it’ll be at least two or three years where the device selection and 5G coverage are wide enough to convince regular people to upgrade.

Gartner Research worldwide smartphone sales Q4 2017

Other notable tidbits from Gartner’s report include Samsung being the leading smartphone manufacturer in terms of sales, taking 18.2 percent of the market share. Apple came in second with 17.9 percent, Huawei in third with 10.8 percent, Xiaomi in fourth with 6.9 percent, and Oppo in fifth with 6.3 percent.

Also of note is that Huawei and Xiaomi saw significant market share growth from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017, with Huawei growing 1.4 percent and Xiaomi growing 3.3 percent.

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In a first, global smartphone sales declined in Q4 2017 as market reaches saturation

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It was bound to happen eventually. Global smartphone sales have fallen year-over-year for the first time since 2004. Research firm Gartner reports that industry-wide, sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 dropped 5.6% from the same time period in 2016.

While Samsung and Apple maintained their leads in units sold, both showed declines in year-over-year sales. Samsung’s sales decreased by 3.6% for Q4, and Apple dropped a somewhat surprising 5%.

Gartner attributes some of the slowdown in Q4 to the aging of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, with the S9 set to debut at the Mobile World Congress, as well as some confusion over Apple’s release of three new models of iPhone and supply shortages for iPhone X.

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In a first, global smartphone sales declined in Q4 2017 as market reaches saturation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Smartphone sales decline for first time ever in 2017

The world may have passed its peak smartphone moment last year. Smartphone sales data released today from the number crunchers at Gartner revealed that worldwide smartphone sales declined for the first time ever during the last quarter of 2017. Both Apple and Samsung saw their market share decline just slightly, but good news could be […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Dish Reports Sling TV Has Grown to 2.2M Subscribers as of the End of 2017

Dish Network today reported official numbers for its streaming television service Sling TV, which marks the first time that the company disclosed the service’s subscriber numbers separately from its traditional pay TV numbers. According to Dish, Sling TV had 2.212 million subscribers as of the end of 2017, aligning with previous estimates that the service had well over 2 million subscribers (via TechCrunch).

Sling TV was one of the first streaming TV bundles to launch, so its continued high ranking in regards to subscriber numbers makes sense. Following Sling TV remain services like DirecTV Now (1 million subscribers as of December 2017), PlayStation Vue (455,000 as of December 2017), Hulu with Live TV (450,000 as of January 2018), and YouTube TV (300,000 as of January 2018). Sling TV and PlayStation Vue launched in 2015, DirecTV Now launched in 2016, and Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV each debuted in 2017.


Dish further detailed Sling TV’s subscriber growth in its 10-K filing this week, stating the service had 623,000 subscribers in its first year on the market, then grew to 1.5 million by 2016, and 2.21 million by the end of 2017. More users switching from traditional TV bundles to streaming services are believed to be impacting Dish’s revenue, however, with its total 2017 revenue at $14.39 billion, down year-over-year from $15.21 billion. In total, 1.1 million users were reported as having dropped Dish’s pay TV bundles in 2017.

Like other streaming TV services, Sling TV allows users to choose between various tiers, with prices that start at $20/month for a small amount of channels and then increase in price as more channels are added. Sling TV is one of the cheapest services to enter with this price, while rivals like YouTube TV cost $35/month, and Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue start at $39.99/month. DirecTV Now also starts at $35/month, and has an ongoing deal where new subscribers can pay for three months of service at $105 and get a 32GB Apple TV 4K for free.

Although Sling TV has been out for longer and subsequently has more robust features, some of the newer services are still in beta and testing updates that have yet to launch to a wide audience. These include DirecTV Now’s beta test of a Cloud DVR, which is now said to be coming this spring, as well as Hulu’s decision to add a more traditional channel guide for its users. Earlier in February, YouTube TV launched an app for Apple TV after delaying the initial launch from 2017.

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Acer Chromebook 15 (2017) review: bigger doesn’t mean better

“What if Chromebooks were bigger?” That’s the question that the Acer Chromebook 15 line has tried to answer, as the only 15-inch sized Chromebook on the market. That laptop was ultimately outclassed by more powerful or versatile Chromebooks, but Acer has revised the Chromebook 15 with a more premium aluminum design and better battery life.

Unfortunately, while the updated Chromebook 15 is still the biggest Chromebook around, in this case, bigger doesn’t mean better.


There are high-end Chromebooks out there, with the latest Intel processors, memory, and high-resolution screens that can rival the best Windows and Apple laptops on the market. The Chromebook 15…

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