There has been a decline of 5.6 per cent year-on-year in the sales of smartphones to end users globally in the December quarter of 2017 at 408 million compared to 432 million in the same period a year ago according to the research firm Gartner.
Gartner said in a report that consumers turning to feature phones as well as they deciding not to upgrade their existing handsets right now resulted in the drop in sale.
It may be noted that ever since Gartner had begun keeping records of global smartphone sale in 2004, this year has been the first year that the research firm has noted a year-on-year quarterly decline.
“Two main factors led to the fall in the fourth quarter of 2017. First, upgrades from feature phones to smartphones have slowed down due to a lack of quality ‘ultra-low-cost’ smartphones and users preferring to buy quality feature phones. Second, replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle of smartphones,” Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said in the statement.
The number one seller still remained Samsung with a sale number of 74.02 million smartphones for the December quarter compared to sale of 76.78 million in the same period a year ago. its market share stood at 18.2 per cent globally.
The report added that Samsung could see an increase in sale in the first quarter of 2018 driven by multiple launches of its next flagship devices. The report further noted that mid-price and entry-level models contributed a large chunk of the sales volumes of Samsung and this segment is one where there is intense competition and the therefore a reduction in the contribution to the profit and the average selling price of its devices. These can get enhanced by the forthcoming launch of its flagship smartphones is they are successful.
Lower sale was also recorded by Apple. Compared to the 77.03 million units it sold a year ago in the December quarter, the U.S. tech giant managed to sell 73.17 million smartphones in the quarter in 2017. Apple is the second largest player I the smartphone market with a market share of 17.9 per cent.
“Apple had three new smartphones — the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X — yet its performance in the quarter was overshadowed by two factors. First, the later availability of the iPhone X led to slow upgrades to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as users waited to try the more expensive model. Second, component shortages and manufacturing capacity constraints preceded a long delivery cycle for the iPhone X, which returned to normal by early December 2017. We expect good demand for the iPhone X to likely bring a delayed sales boost for Apple in the first quarter of 2018,” Gupta said.
The companies that followed Samsung and Apple by sale volume the global market in the December quarter were Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo, which had market shares of 10.8 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. More smartphones have been sold in the December quarter of 2017 by both Huawei and Xiaomi compared to what they sold a year ago in the same period.
There has however been an increase of 2.7 per cent in the sale of smartphones for the entire year of 2017 compared to the sale in 2016.
(Adapted from Livemint.com)