Global smartphone sales reached 408 million units during the 2017 holiday season, Gartner reported. This is a 5.6% decline, compared with Q4 2016, when over 432 million phones found a new owner, marking the first time sales go down since Gartner started tracking in 2004. According to Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, two factors led to the fall: the upgrade from feature phones to smartphones slowed down due to lack of ultra-low-cost devices and users deciding to choose a quality model and stick with it for a longer time before switching. “Moreover, while demand for high…
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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.
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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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.
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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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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