Saturation causes year-on-year smartphone shipment decline, but Samsung overperforms in Q1

The congestion of the worldwide smartphone market has been anticipated by analysts for a long time now, and you can almost notice it with the naked eye these days. Whether we’re talking Android devices or iPhones, upgrades happen at a slower pace than before, and driving new adoption is mission impossible, as billions of people already own intelligent handhelds.

The best most major OEMs can thus hope for this year is share and sales stagnation, with perhaps a handful of rising Chinese stars looking at growth on both fronts. Overall, the market has begun to contract, and global shipments reportedly dropped a worrisome 18.6 percent sequentially in Q1 2016 and 1.3 percent year-on-year.

That latter number could have been much worse if Samsung hadn’t launched the Galaxy S7 earlier than usual, playing a key part in keeping the industry’s scores relatively high, at a grand total of 292 million units.

The undisputed heavyweight champion actually managed to add 2.5 percent on top of its Q4 2015 box-office figures, according to TrendForce estimates, shipping a robust 81 million Galaxy copies and seizing a towering 28 percent piece of the worldwide manufacturer pie.

Smartphone sales Q1 2016 by vendor

Apple of course followed in second, but with its most dreadful quarter on record, as iPhone sales apparently plunged 43.8 percent compared to the recent holiday season, to just 42 million units, a far cry from optimistic pundit projections.

Cupertino’s share slipped from 21 to 14 percent, while Huawei sat tight, at around 9 percent, with Lenovo in fourth place (5.8 percentage points), Xiaomi in fifth (5.5), and LG in sixth (5.1). It’ll definitely be interesting to see if the G5 will help its makers overtake both Lenovo and Xiaomi in the year’s second calendar quarter, as the former only has a Moto G4 in the pipeline as far as semi-high-profile products go, whereas the Mi 5 seems incapable of meeting even domestic demand.

Source: TrendForce

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).