Strong iPhone Demand Harms Other Premium Smartphone Sales

Smartphone sale growth slowest for two years, but iPhone is enjoying success in the high-end market

The success of the iPhone 6 is continuing to boost Apple’s share of the global smartphone market – and place pressure on Samsung and other Android manufacturers, according to new figures from Gartner.

During the second quarter of 2015, 330 million smartphones were sold, a 13.5 percent rise, but this is the slowest growth rate for two years.

Samsung remains the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, shifting 72 million units and controlling 21.9 percent of the market. However this is down from 76 million sales last year, when its share was 26.2 percent.

Smartphone sales

iPhone6_PF_SpGry_iPhone6_PB_SpGry_iPhone6_PSL_SpGry_Homescreen-PRINT (1000x946)This can partly be explained by strong Apple sales, which only competes in the high end of the sector and intense competition in the mid-range section of the market. Apple sold 48 million iPhones, giving it a 14.6 percent share of the market. This is a significant 36 percent year-on-year increase from the 25.3 million units it shifted in the same period of 2014.

Samsung launched two new handsets last week, outside its usual launch window, in a bid to get the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy 6 Edge+ to consumers before Apple’s expected new phones are announced next month.

Huawei enjoyed the strongest growth of any company, with slaes jumping by 7.8 percent to 25.8 million, handing it 7.8 percent of the market, while Lenovo (including Motorola) fell from 19 million to 16.4 million. Chinese firm Xiaomi continues to impress, with sales increasing from 12.5 million to 16 million, enough for it to be the world’s fifth biggest smartphone maker.

OS impact

Android remains dominant, but Apple sales in China rose by 68 percent, reducing Google’s share of the OS space from 83.8 percent to 82.2 percent. Apple has 14.6 percent of the market, while Windows share fell slightly from 2.8 percent to 2.5 percent. Someone is still buying BlackBerry phones but sales almost halved from 2 million to 1.2 million over the past year, giving the company a meagre 0.3 percent share.

Other operating systems account for 0.4 percent, highlighting the difficulty of alternative platforms like Firefox OS to challenge the status quo.

In total, 446 million smartphones and feature phones were sold in the second quarter a minor increase from 444 million. Samsung still leads the way with 19.9 percent of the market, ahead of Apple on 10.8 percent and Microsoft, through its Nokia acquisition, on 6.2 percent, although this was down from 9.9 percent the year before.

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