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Mobile Shipments Take Their First Tumble In A Decade

Global smartphone shipments have fallen for the first time in a decade. In the first quarter of this year, the market fell to 335 million units, down three percent from the same period a year ago, researcher Strategy Analytics reports.

“Smartphone growth is slowing, due to increasing penetration maturity in major markets like China and consumer caution about the future of the world economy,” said Strategy Analytics analyst Linda Sui.

Rival IDC took a slightly different line, reporting that growth was essentially flat during the quarter, eking out a tiny gain to 334.9 million units worldwide from 334.3 million units in the first quarter last year.

The world’s top-two smartphone makers, Samsung and Apple, are facing increasing competition from rivals in China, Strategy Analytics reports.

It says that Samsung maintained the top spot with about 24 percent of the world smartphone market. South Korea’s biggest company shipped 79 million smartphones worldwide during the first quarter of this year, dipping four percent from 82.7 million units in the same period a year ago.

In the number-two spot, Apple’s shipments of its flagship iPhone plunged 16 percent from a year ago to 51.2 million units worldwide in the first quarter of  2016.Apple’s market share slipped from 18 to 15 percent.

“Apple is facing iPhone fatigue, and pressure is mounting for Apple to innovate a new ‘wow’ design beyond its standard rectangle form factor,” Sui said.

During the same period, some challengers in China have made inroads. Huawei strengthened its number-three position, garnering eight percent of the market in the first quarter, up from five percent a year ago.

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