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Apple Gains, Samsung Slides: Smartphone Sales Growth Slowest Since 2013

Apple Gains, Samsung Slides: Smartphone Sales Growth Slowest Since 2013Gartner found worldwide smartphone sales recorded the slowest growth rate in the 2015 second quarter since 2013, with worldwide sales to end users totalling 330 million units, a 13.5 per cent increase year-on-year.

“While demand for lower-cost 3G and 4G smartphones continued to drive growth in emerging markets, overall smartphone sales remained mixed region by region in the second quarter of 2015,” Anshul Gupta, Gartner research director, noted.

In China sales fell for the first time, recording a 4 per cent decline year-on-year.

“China is the biggest country for smartphone sales, representing 30 per cent of total sales of smartphones in the second quarter of 2015,” Gupta commented. “Its poor performance negatively affected the performance of the mobile phone market in the second quarter.

“China has reached saturation – its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers. Beyond the lower-end phone segment, the appeal of premium smartphones will be key for vendors to attract upgrades and to maintain or grow their market share in China.”

Samsung’s struggles, meanwhile, continue, with the tech giant, which still took out the number one vendor spot, seeing its market share decline from 26.2 per cent to 21.9 per cent year-on-year, while recording a 5.3 per cent decline in unit sales. Gartner noted that, despite the launch of Samsung’s new S6 models, its premium phones continued to be challenged by Apple’s large-screen iPhones.

Apple, which came in in second spot, grew its market share from 12.2 per cent to 14.6 per cent year-on-year, with iPhone sales increasing 36 per cent. In China, total iPhone sales grew 68 per cent to 11.9 million units.

Huawei took out third spot, seeing its market share grow from 6.1 per cent to 7.8 per cent year-on-year, recording a sales growth rate of 46.3 per cent, which Gartner stated was due to strong overseas sales and 4G smartphone sales in China.

Lenovo and Xiaomi rounded out the top five, with Lenovo seeing its market share decline from 6.6 per cent to 5 per cent year-on-year, and Xiaomi claiming 4.9 per cent of the market, up from 4.3 per cent year-on-year.

Gartner noted that Apple’s double-digit growth in the high-end segment has continued to negatively impact its rivals’ premium sales and profit margins.

“Many vendors had to realign their portfolios to remain competitive in the mid-range and low-end smartphone segments,” Gartner stated. “This realignment resulted in price wars and discounting to clear up inventory for new devices planned for the second half of 2015.”

Meanwhile, Android and iOS continue to dominate the operating system market, with Android capturing 82.2 per cent of the market and iOS 14.6 per cent, down from 83.8 per cent and up from 12.2 per cent year-on-year, respectively. Android’s market share was affected by a weak performance in China and the conversely strong performance of Apple. Windows Phone declined from 2.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent year-on-year.