According to the latest report from TrendForce, sellers of smartphone devices worldwide shipped 292 million units during the first three months of 2016. This volume represents a 1.3 percent slide year over year, and an 18.6 percent sequential decrease from the normally robust holiday shopping season.
As explained by TrendForce, the sagging market may have something to do with market saturation, which has also caused slow growth even from two of the biggest smartphone vendors in the planet, Samsung and Apple. As for Chinese phone makers, they shipped 125 million units during the first quarter of this year. This figure easily beats the combined volume of shipments from Samsung and Apple for the first time, and captures 42.9 percent of all smartphone shipments around the world.
During the first quarter of this year, Samsung took the title as the top seller, bagging 27.8 percent of all smartphone shipments. Apple claimed 14.4 percent of all shipments. Rounding the top five sellers worldwide are three Chinese mobile giants: Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi. LG just missed on entering the top five.
TrendForce has stated that phone makers from China are continuing to enjoy the spoils of increasing wireless carrier subsidies in the Chinese mobile market, while at the same time, reaping the benefits of their efforts in achieving increased penetration in markets outside their native China.
With regards to Apple’s latest flagship device, the iPhone 6s, TrendForce considers the handset’s sales as lackluster. One possible big factor is the lack of major new features in the newest iPhone model. Also, Apple’s recent conservative approach to managing its channel inventories ahead of the launch of its newest iPhone offering may have contributed to less than stellar sales numbers (by Apple’s standards).
TrendForce noted that based on its estimates, Apple has posted its worst sequential quarterly drop in iPhone shipment volume. During the first quarter of this year, iPhone shipments fell 43.8 percent to just 42 million units from 75 million units during the final quarter of 2015. TrendForce also reduced its projections for iPhone shipments in 2016 to 213 million, almost 10 percent lower compared to that of 2015.
What about Samsung? The South Korean tech giant’s release of its latest flagship devices, the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, helped the company register a 2.5 percent improvement in smartphone shipments compared to the previous quarter. Moreover, by launching its Galaxy J series, Samsung further solidified its entry level lineup of handsets, which proved to be successful in the Chinese mobile market.
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