According to research firm Gartner, global smartphone sales for 2016 will decline, marking two consecutive years of decline since 2015. The newest information from Gartner projects that total smartphone sales will decrease 1.6 percent this year. The company pointed out that the only area seeing growth in 2016 is the market for low cost smartphones that run on Google’s Android mobile operating system, especially those manufactured and shipped by phone makers based in China.
For next year however, there is plenty of reason to be hopeful. Gartner’s new forecast offers a return to growth for smartphone sales in 2017. There may be some truth to this -- Apple after all is gearing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone, and next year’s offering will most certainly be special, features wise. If next year’s iPhone will not send mobile users into a feeding frenzy, perhaps Google’s new Pixel devices will. Many industry watchers have observed that Google may have already finally offered a smartphone that can hold its own against Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s high end Galaxy devices. If that is the case, a new entrant such as the Pixel devices may have an effect of raising the overall level of competition, which means that the overall quality of the products may improve, and hopefully, translate to healthy sales for all phone makers in the market.
As we enter the holiday season, familiar names in mobile are poised to take full advantage of the increase in spending among consumers. Apple is certainly enjoying how things are coming along, especially with regards to the launch of its newest devices, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Moreover, the special offers made by wireless carriers in selling the new iPhones has done their job in building up some demand. That should create some momentum entering into the last three months of the year, when more delicious deals will, for sure, materialize.
What about Samsung? Its recall of its latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 7, was really unfortunate, especially when one considers that before reports of overheating and exploding batteries surface, the device was actually looking to give Apple’s yet to be launched iPhone 7 devices (at that time of Galaxy Note 7’s release) a run for their money. But by acting fast enough to offer replacement units, it looks like Samsung has put itself in a nice position to recover in the holiday season.
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