As detailed by market research firm Gartner in its latest report, global sales of smartphone devices in the fourth quarter of 2015 posted its slowest growth rate since the year 2008, almost a decade ago. Even Apple’s seemingly untouchable iPhones are not immune to slow sales -- Gartner reported that iPhone devices posted its first ever decline.
Other phone maker brands are suffering too, although powerhouses such as Samsung and Huawei managed to increase their market share. For the South Korean mobile giant, the improvement in market share was not much to boast about -- growing from a 19.9 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2014 to only 20.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
It is safe to say that Huawei had a better quarter, and probably the best showing among the big names in the smartphone industry. The Chinese phone maker grew 53 percent during the final quarter of last year, and managed to raise its market share from 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
When it comes to mobile operating systems, Google’s Android remains the most popular OS for smartphone and tablet devices in the world. Android posts a market share of 80.7 percent for the final quarter of 2015, and has even managed to log an improvement over the 76 percent market share it recorded in the fourth quarter of the previous year. What about Apple’s iOS mobile operating system? The fourth quarter of 2015 saw Apple’s mobile OS decrease from 20.4 percent during the same period the previous year to 17.7 percent this year. Microsoft’s Windows platform? It got a 1.1 percent share during the last three months of 2015.
In terms of market share, the top five smartphone brands in the world according to Gartner’s report are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi. Three of the top five names mentioned in the preceding paragraph hail from China, and collectively, they combined to capture a 17 percent market share in the final quarter of 2015, a slight improvement over the 16.5 percent market share they registered in the fourth quarter of 2014.
It will be interesting to observe how Apple will deal with its first ever slump for its iPhone devices. Some industry watchers are saying that perhaps it is time for the tech giant to introduce a truly low cost iPhone model in order to boost its sales. That or convince Android mobile users to switch to iOS, which is no walk in the park either.
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