The biggest fall in shipment in the history of smartphones was recorded last quarter with a fall of 9 per cent in the global smartphone market. Sale of iPhones from Apple fell 1 per cent because users preferred to cling on to their existing versions of the smartphones for a longer period of time.
However, an enhancement in the average sale price of the iPhones for Apple were offset by the drop of about 5 million units in shipment in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. The average sale price was increased due to the good sale of the £1,000 iPhone X.
However, there appears to be a downslide in the demand for new phones even though the top end of the smartphone market is being driven to touch even higher prices by the likes of Samsung and others along with Apple. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the year-on-year shipment globally for smartphones dropped to 400.2 million from 428.7 million units, shows data from Strategy Analytics.
Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “It was the biggest annual fall in smartphone history. The shrinkage in global smartphone shipments was caused by a collapse in the huge China market, where demand fell 16% annually due to longer replacement rates, fewer operator subsidies and a general lack of ‘wow models’.”
The trend of all-screen designs which was first launched in march by Samsung in its Galaxy S8 was followed by the iPhone X. However, at present, there are only incremental advances in smartphones with the bulk being done with artificial intelligence as the era of huge leaps in smartphone technology like even better cameras, appears to have come to an end.
“We’re getting to the point where photo quality is already so good that the focus is turning to the smarts that you build beyond that,” Google’s vice president product manager Mario Queiroz, said last year.
It however remains to be seen whether that reasons is good enough to stimulate buyers.
“Global iPhone volumes have actually declined on an annual basis for five of the past eight quarters,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve.”
The entire smartphone market however crossed the 1.5 billion shipments for smartphones for the first time in 2017 notwithstanding the fall in the last quarter. That marked a rise of 1.3 per cent. However, that increase is mothing compared to the 12.33 per cent year-on-year increase in 2015 with a total shipment of 158 million units and is also dwarfed by the 3.3 per cent increase in shipment in 2016 with shipment of 48 million. Experts note that a saturation point reached in the smartphone markets in developed countries and the first-time buyers now becoming upgraders denoting a much harder sale option are the reasons for this slide.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)
Categories: Economy & Finance