According to Gartner, Apple experienced its first decline in iPhone sales since their initial release, during the final quarter of 2015.
Is the beginning of the end for the mobile media juggernaut?
Apple still did a healthy business, despite being 4.4% lower than the previous year, selling 71.5 million mobile phones, instead of 74.8.
Huawei and Samsung were the only two mobile phone manufacturers to report an improvement in sales last year.
When taken together, smartphone sales representatives from around the globe managed to sell 403 million handsets in the fourth quarter of 2015 – 9.7% increase the fourth quarter of 2014, but still being the slowest growth percentage since smartphones hit the market.
Samsung is leading the pack, with 20.7% of the market share, compared to 19.9% in 2014. Apple, coming in at Number Two, fell a couple of points, from 20.4% in 2014 to 17.7% in 2015.
Huawei came it at Number Three in the mobile market, ascending to 8% market share, from 5.7% in 2014. Lenovo and China’s Xiaomi were close behind, securing 5% and 4.5% of mobile handset sales, respectively.
Overall, mobile markets sold 1.4 billion units in 2015, up 14.4% from 2014.
Gartner’s Research Director Anshul Gupta speculated on the cause of these trends, claiming “Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors. An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.”
Also, according to Gupta, many of the emerging Asian/Pacific market are anticipated to upgrade their devices quickly, to the same brand they already own.
It’s interesting to speculate on the reasons for the falling figures. While it’s tempting to blame a faltering economy, or the public’s attention being diverted to some new fad, the fact of the matter is, many/most people don’t need a brand new phone every single year, no matter how powerful or trending it might be.
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