Samsung again held top spot and improved its position in the smartphone market share in the last closing quarter Q4 2015. But for the whole year 2015 it has lost around 2% market share in comparison to the previous year 2014. The Gartner Q4 2015 and 2015 smartphone stats report is out and it shows first ever drop in Apple iPhone market share for the Q4 2015. Overall Apple kept the steady pace for the year 2015 in comparison to the previous year 2014. This year 2016 is the real test for both Apple and Samsung as they have tough competition ahead with Samsung Galaxy S7 slated to launch few days from now and Apple’s iPhone 7 launch will be in September 2016.
It was the worst year for the Microsoft’s Windows smartphones. The Windows Mobile OS share in Q4 2015 has decreased to 1.1% in comparison to 2.8% share in Q4 2014. The upcoming Surface phone is the only hope left for Microsoft for its smartphone dream.
Huawei is the only among top 5 smartphone companies which has gained considerable share in comparison to the last year, thanks to its affordable price Honor phones like Honor 4x and Google’s flagship device Nexus 6p. Xiaomi is finding it tough to maintain its share mainly due to new Chinese entrants like LeEco (or Letv) and increasing competition from local smartphone companies.
iOS’s loss is Android’s gain as rest (Windows/Blackberry) are already on the verge of the end. 80.7% of smartphones in the world run Android OS and 17.7% are iPhones. Check the detailed report below.
Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Grew 9.7 Percent in Fourth Quarter of 2015
iPhone Sales Declined for the First Time
Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 403 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 9.7 percent increase over the same period in 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. However, this was their slowest growth rate since 2008. In 2015 as a whole, smartphone sales reached 1.4 billion units, an increase of 14.4 percent from 2014.
“Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.”
Mr. Gupta said that 85 percent of users in the emerging Asia/Pacific market are replacing their current midrange phone with the same category of phone. In addition, currency devaluations against the U.S. dollar in many emerging markets are putting further margin pressure on many vendors that import devices. Current market conditions are prompting some vendors to consider setting up manufacturing operations in India and Indonesia to avoid being hit by future unfavourable currency devaluations and high import taxes.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Samsung and Huawei were the only two top-five smartphone vendors to increase their sales to end users (see Table 1). Apple suffered its first decline in sales of smartphones — iPhone sales were down 4.4 percent.
Although Samsung was the No.1 vendor, Gartner analysts said the company faces challenges. “For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices,” said Mr. Gupta.
With an increase in sales of 53 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, Huawei achieved the best performance year over year. Huawei’s increased brand visibility overseas, and its decision to sell almost only smartphones, gave it a higher average selling price in 2015.
For total sales of smartphones in 2015, Samsung maintained the No. 1 position, but its market share declined by 2.2 percentage points (see Table 2). In 2015, Apple sold 225.9 million iPhones, to achieve a market share of almost 16 percent. Huawei’s smartphone sales approached 104 million units, up 53 percent year over year.
In terms of smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android increased 16.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, to account for 80.7 percent of the global total (see Table 3). “Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. In the premium segment, despite Apple’s slower year-over-year fourth-quarter sales, Apple narrowed the market share gap with Samsung in 2015 as a whole.