However Gartner figures still show global smartphone sales growing by nearly 10 percent last quarter
Apple’s fears about iPhone sales slowing down may well have been vindicated by analyst figures out today which show that the company’s devices suffered their first ever fall last quarter.
iPhone sales were down 4.4 percent over the last three months of 2015 compared to the previous year, despite Apple releasing the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in September to supposedly global acclaim, according to the latest sales figures released today from Gartner.
Despite this, overall smartphone sales remained strong, despite fears of a global showdown, hitting 403m units in the quarter, a 9.7 percent increase over the same period in 2014.
However, even this growth was the slowest rate seen since 2008, as smartphone sales across the whole of 2015 topped 1.4 billion units, an increase of 14.4 per cent from 2014.
Gartner’s figures showed that Samsung and Huawei were the only two top-five smartphone vendors to increase their sales to end users in the fourth quarter of 2015. Huawei performed particularly well, showing a 53 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year as it focused entirely on selling smartphones.
Overall, Samsung maintained its number one position as the leading global smartphone manufacturer, taking 22.5 percent of the market, ahead of Apple (15.9 percent), Huawei (7.3 percent), Motorola/Lenovo (5.1 percent) and Xiaomi (4.6 percent).
Android was also unsurprisingly far ahead in global sales during 2015, taking 80.7 percent of the market, with Ios on 17.7 percent. Windows took only 1.1 percent of the market, a figure it will be looking to grow with the launch of Windows 10 Mobile, with BlackBerry limping along at 0.2 percent.
Consumers in emerging markets looking for low-cost smartphones, especially China, were the main drivers behind this growth, Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said, noting that aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets was leading to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.
Overall, 85 percent of users in the emerging Asia/Pacific market are replacing their current midrange phone with the same category of phone, Gupta said.
The weakening US dollar and changes in the global economy are also leading many vendors to move manufacturing operations to the likes of India and Indonesia to avoid being hit by future unfavourable currency devaluations and high import taxes.
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