Gartner: Worldwide Smartphone Sales decline for the first time

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Global sales of smartphones to end users declined for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2017, analyst firm Gartner said on Thursday.

It reported global sales of almost 408 million smartphones in the final three months of 2017, down 5.6 per cent versus the same quarter a year earlier.

"Upgrades from feature phones to smartphones have slowed down due to a lack of quality "ultra-low-cost" smartphones and users preferring to buy quality feature phones", Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.

Source Gartner
Source Gartner

"While demand for high-quality 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales", Gupta said.

While Samsung and Apple maintained their leads in units sold, both showed declines in year-over-year sales. For instance, while Gartner reports that Samsung took the top spot in the last quarter of 2017, IDC reported that Apple is at the top as well, so we advise you to take these reports with a grain of salt.

And while all other major smartphone manufacturers felt the crunch in Q4, two companies saw meaningful growth in units sold and in market share: China's Huawei (up 7.6%) and Xiaomi (up 7.9%).

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Xiaomi sold 28.188 million units of smartphones in the fourth quarter of previous year, making up for 6.9 percent of the global market shares.

The two Chinese companies grew their market shares in the fourth quarter of 2017, as Huawei added new smartphone models including Mate 10 Lite, Honor 6C Pro and Enjoy 7S that broadened the appeal of its mobile products.

"We expect good demand for the iPhone X to likely bring a delayed sales boost for Apple in the first quarter of 2018". Huawei came third with 9.8 per cent share market followed by OPPO and Vivo.

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This has also led to a jump in Xiaomi's share of the total market to 6.9% in the December quarter from 3.6% a year ago. The other strategy of Xiaomi should be in increasing sales in Indonesia and other developing telecom markets in emerging APAC in order to position it as a strong global brand.

The South Korean tech giant experienced a year-on-year decline of 3.6 percent, while rival Apple also felt a downturn in iPhone sales of roughly five percent. Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2017 (Thousands of Units) Source: Gartner.

Xiaomi's competitive smartphone portfolio consists of its Mi and Redmi models, which helped accelerate its growth in the emerging Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, as well as its regained hold in the domestic market shares back in China.

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