Because of the growing demand for high-end mobile devices, such as Apple’s iPhone 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 handsets, the global market for smartphones posted very solid second quarter numbers. According to a report published by GfK, the total unit sales of smartphones across the globe increased 5 percent to 302.1 million units during the second quarter of the year. Smartphone sellers meanwhile managed to earned revenues of $92.4 billion in the second quarter, an improvement over the $86 billion generated during the same time last year.
GfK got its data by tracking sales to end users instead of focusing on the volume of supplier shipments. And its findings suggest that phone makers that offer handsets belonging to the midrange price category (between $250 to $500) are not doing so well. As a matter of fact, in the two largest smartphone markets in the world -- China and North America -- mobile users were most interested in smartphones priced above $500. In the United States, devices that are priced up to $250 also showed so-so sales.
The figures certainly do not lie. GfK’s data shows that high end devices grabbed 43 percent of smartphone unit share during the second quarter of 2015 -- that is up from 38 percent during the same quarter in 2014. GfK further noted that high end devices now make up 17 percent of the $26.8 billion Chinese market, up from 10 percent the previous year.
GfK’s data clearly indicates that mobile users continue to go for either high end devices or very low priced handsets. Two of the world’s biggest phone makers -- Apple and Samsung -- have certainly achieved success via their high end smartphone offerings. On the other side of the spectrum are Chinese companies such as Xiaomi and Huawei, which have increased their market share over the past few years by offering feature heavy but ultra-affordable smartphone choices.
Back in July of this year, another research firm, IDC, reported that Samsung captured 21.7 percent of the worldwide smartphone market during the second quarter of the year, with 73.2 million shipments. On second place, of course, is Apple who got 14.1 market share and managed to ship 47.5 million units of its smartphones. On third place is Huawei, followed by fellow Chinese phone makers, Xiaomi and Lenovo.
Speaking of China, GfK’s data actually shows that the Chinese market saw a 10 percent year over year decrease in smartphone sales. Interestingly, however, the revenue rose 17 percent for this market. What gives? This is likely the result of Chinese mobile users buying fewer smartphones, but those that did buy went for the pricier high end devices, hence the increase in revenue figures.
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