Smartphone Sales Tank, First Time Since 2004.
Days out from the biggest mobile phone trade show it’s been revealed that sales of smartphones are in decline for the first time since 2004.
The decline in fourth quarter 2017 sales is the first year-on-year decline as consumers were slower to upgrade their devices, this was despite Apple rolling out a new iPhone 8 offering along with their ill-fated iPhone X.
Nearly 408m smartphones were sold to consumers worldwide, in the final three months of last year, according to Gartner, a 5.6 per cent fall from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first fall since the research firm began tracking the market in 2004.
Although demand for features such as 4G connectivity and high-quality cameras remained strong, new products with only incremental improvements failed to motivate users to trade up, according to Anshul Gupta, research director
A decade of growth now means most people have access to a smartphone or tablet device, but the latest research will be worrying for the telecoms industry, which has experienced falling sales in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market.
As demand for new smartphones has slowed, manufacturers and chipmakers have begun to look towards alternative products to embed their technologies in, including ‘internet of things’ devices and automated cars.
In Australia brands such as Huawei and Sony are struggling to get traction while brands such as Alcatel, Apple, Samsung and Nokia are experiencing growth. Huawei is also facing new problems with various US security agencies recommending to consumers that they don’t buy the Chinese Companies phones due to security issues.
The Gartner report said Samsung remained the most popular smartphone brand by sales with a market share of 18.2 per cent, followed closely by Apple with 17.9 per cent.
Samsung’s profit and average selling price could improve if its next flagship phones, the successors to its Galaxy series which are expected to launch this year, are successful.
Gartner also expects strong demand for the iPhone X to bring a delayed sales boost for the US company in the first quarter of 2018.