The continual rise of the smartphone market was at it slowest in the fourth quarter of 2015,  according to data compiled by market research firm Gartner.

Between October and December, 2015 globally about 403 million smartphones were sold, which though represents a  9.7% increase compared to the fourth quarter sales of 2014, is the slowest recorded growth rate for the market since 2008. Over 1.4 billion smartphone units were sold in the year 2015, representing a  14.4% increase from 2014.

While other smartphone makers continued to see increased sales, Apple’s flagship product the iPhone failed to crate an impact. The sales of the iPhone declined by 4.4 percent and reached its lowest since the product was first launched by the company. The Apple iOS platform also reduced its share of the market by 17.7 percent, down from 20.4 per cent for the same quarter in 2014.

Apple’s South Korean rival, Samsung witnessed increased sales and it along with Huawei clocked an upsurge in the sales of its smartphones. Samsung could manage a mere increase in sales as its sales grew to 20.7 percent from 19.9 per cent reported in the last quarter of 2014. Huawei, on the other hand managed to register a substantial incrase in sales volume fot the Q4 2015. Its sales grew by 53 per cent compared to 2014, which aided its overall rise of the market share to reach 8.0 percent from 5.7 per cent held in 2014.

The data upheld the dominance of Android OS, which held an overall market share of  80.7 per cent. In the Q4 2014 Android smartphones held a market share of 76 per cent. Even the launch of Windows 10 could not help Microsoft gain a significant share in the market as the OS held a mere 1.1 per cent share in the smartphone market in Q4 2015.

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,

stated Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

Though its sales nosedived, Apple still managed to stay ahead of Huawei, which was the best performer of the last quarter of 2015. The top slot was taken over by Samsung. According to their market share the top five smartphone makers are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi.

The demand for smartphones in China helped the homegrown smartphone makers such as Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi increase their sales, with the three accounting for 17 percent share in the market. In the same quarter for 2014, the three smartphone makers held a market share of 16.5 percent collectively.

“During the next five years we expect growth in the smartphone market to come mostly from emerging markets. Basic and lower-end smartphones will account for two-thirds of smartphone sales by 2019; in the same year, only 20 per cent of smartphone sales will come from mature markets. We have witnessed Indian and Chinese players within these regions — such as, Micromax, Xiaomi, Huawei, Intex, Oppo and BBK Electronics — benefit from increased demand for affordable smartphones,” stated Cozza.


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