Has the smartphone market reached its saturation point? It may
or may not be the case, but their number of purchases have
declined for the first time. According to a report by Gartner,
smartphone sales figures recorded the first ever decline of
5.6% in Q4 2017. Around 408 million smartphones were sold
globally in the same period.
So, what could be the reason for this drop when more and more
people are becoming aware of smartphones and their usage.
According to Gartner’s research director Anshul Gupta, there
are two reasons behind the sales numbers fall.
The first is the rejuvenation of feature phones in the market.
When combines with the lack of quality “ultra-low-cost”
smartphones, it has led to a slow down in upgrades from feature
phone to smartphones. People are going for quality feature
Another reason is that people are making bigger investments on
high-end smartphones and keeping them for an extended period of
time. For example, a cost concerned user may retain a device
like iPhone X or Galaxy S8 for more than a year’s time.
The inability of the manufacturers to meet consumers’ high
expectations has also contributed to weakening the smartphone
sales. When releasing new smartphones, the lack of innovation
delivers only a few incremental benefits over the existing
technology. This could be one probably a reason why users would
want to stick to their existing devices.
Despite the drop in the sales of S8 and S8+, Samsung managed to
remain on the top of the list by selling 74 million smartphone
units in Q4 2017. Although, they ended up with a 3.6% decline
in their year-on-year sales. This is another victory for
the Korean tech giant after recently beating Intel as the
world’s largest chipmaker.
Apple follows Samsung with around 73 million units. When
comparing the sales number for Q4 2017 and Q4 2016, Huawei and
Xiaomi are the only top smartphone sellers that managed to
record a sales growth.
The story is different in the case of the annual smartphone
sales worldwide where the overall smartphone sales
have boosted since 2016. Expect Apple, major vendors
have recorded an increase and Samsung managed to capture around
21% of the global market share in 2017. The iOS-powered devices
also saw a defeat in the worldwide sales, where Android won a
one-sided match with over 85% market share.
You can read Gartner’s report here.