There were 446 million mobile phones sold in the second quarter of 2015 according to research firm Gartner in a new report. Out of those, 330 million smartphones. Despite smartphones outselling feature/dumb phones in that quarter, they still registered their slowest growth in 2 years.
The slow growth in smartphone sales can be attributed to several factors. Apple, China and the vendors’ lack of options in emerging markets can be cited as some of the key factors why not all vendors managed to ship record numbers of smartphone units globally.
Huawei for instance recorded the highest sales growth rate of 46.3% thanks in part to the company’s keen focus on emerging markets and demand for 4G smartphones in its home market. The Chinese smartphone market was partly responsible for the slow growth in more ways than one. For starters, the market embraced Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with open arms and that meant every other smartphone brand had to struggle to find a footing. The end result? Apple was able to increase its smartphone sales in that country by 68%! That left little room for competitors in the premium smartphone space like Samsung and HTC to make any difference.
Despite boosting the iPhone’s performance in the East, the Chinese smartphone market did not perform as well. Smartphone sales in the world’s largest smartphone market fell by 4% thanks to market saturation.
2015 has seen everybody bring their A-game when it comes to making premium smartphones. With only a few of those selling as compared to competitively priced mid-range and low end smartphones, vendors who only dwell on them also felt the pinch. HTC, Sony, LG and ZTE have as a result not made it to the top of the above chart while Lenovo and Xiaomi established themselves in the top 5 thanks to their dalliance with both advanced and emerging markets.
Samsung which still leads the pack when it comes to the top vendors in the world will have to pray that its decision to out its latest smartphones many weeks before Apple unveiled the iPhone 6’s successor pays off. If it does not then the Korean device maker will be in trouble. Samsung’s shipments declined by 5.3% in Q2 2015 hence resulting in the company losing its market share by 4.3%.
The not-so-good performance of Android’s dominant OEM meant that the platform itself also didn’t fair well as it registered its lowest Year on Year growth. Still, Android remains the operating system powering the most mobile devices on the planet as it accounts for 82.2% of all smartphones out there while Apple’s iOS comes a distant at 14.6%. Microsoft which is expected to breathe some new life into its Windows platform with a new version of the operating system, Windows 10 Mobile, and some new flagship hardware anytime now managed to bag only 2.5% of the smartphone marketshare. Blackberry is on the verge of unveiling its first ever smartphone running Android but we think it will need not just that but also a miracle if it is to ever get itself out of the insignificance it has slowly but surely sunk into. It accounts for 0.3% of all smartphones sold in the last three months.