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IDC Reports Flat Smartphone Shipments, Samsung Extends Lead Over Apple

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Apple’s smartphone sales have gone down, and that has been pretty much evident from the disaster that happened day before. Evidently, the same applies for most mobile makers in the market. According to an analysis by IDC, smartphone sales this quarter have risen by just 0.2 percent from the 334.3 million units in Q1 2015.

This marks the smallest year-over-year growth rate and the first time in history that smartphone sales have flat-lined. The IDC says that the minimal growth this quarter is primarily attributed to strong smartphone saturation in developed markets, as well as a year-over-year decline from both Apple and Samsung, the two market leaders.

Numbers might be down but Samsung is still leading the market. Apparently, Samsung did not only ship more smartphones than any other vendor, it also outnumbered the number 2 and 3 positions (Apple and Huawei) combined in terms of sales. Here are latest quarterly figures from IDC, which summarized its findings in the following table:

IDC

Samsung’s market share has decreased to a quarter now from a third, a couple of years ago. Despite this, the Korean giant is still the market leader with 24.6 percent points. IDC believes that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will play a crucial role in taking up the mantle for Samsung and the J series is working its way in growing markets.

Along China’s maturing smartphone adoption curve, the companies most aligned with growth are those with products serving increasingly sophisticated consumers. Lenovo benefited with ASPs below US$150 in 2013, and Xiaomi picked up the mantle with ASPs below US$200 in 2014 and 2015. Now Huawei, OPPO, and vivo, which play mainly in the sub-US$250 range, are positioned for a strong 2016.

said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

These new vendors would be well-advised not to rest on their laurels though, as this dynamic smartphone landscape has shown to even cult brands like Xiaomi that customer loyalty is difficult to consistently maintain.

This stands to show that the Chinese smartphone market is maturing, factoring in a lot of competition and lesser-known, local brands are now taking out more popular ones.

Outside of China, many of these brands are virtually unknown and the ability of these rapidly growing Chinese vendors to gain entry into mature markets such as the United States and Western Europe will be essential if they have aspirations of catching Apple or Samsung at the top,

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s mobile phone team, said in a statement.

While Huawei is furthest along in terms of international recognition, selling equally impressive volumes outside of China remains a challenge for many of these brands, whether it is Xiaomi, Lenovo, OPPO, or vivo. Their ability to drive local growth no longer applies when it comes to international expansion, where premium branding quickly turns to price competition.


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