Yup, it is not just Apple that is struggling. As a matter of fact, it is the entire mobile industry, at least according to data presented by research firm Strategy Analytics. As noted by the research firm, this marks the first time in the history of the modern smartphone era (qualified by Strategy Analytics as starting in 1996 when BlackBerry introduced the first true smartphone in the world) that the total volume of global shipments of smartphones have declined year over year.
Based on information from Strategy Analytics, shipments of smartphone devices around the world dropped 3 percent yearly, resulting to a total volume of 334.6 million units during the first quarter of 2016. This figure represents a decrease in numbers compared to the 345 million units shipped worldwide during the first quarter of 2015.
Strategy Analytics believes that the shrinking global market for smartphones is due to market penetration now nearing full maturity levels, especially in major mobile markets like China. Moreover, mobile users during the past three months are exercising caution with regards to their smartphone purchasing habits in light of the uncertainty of overall worldwide economy.
In 2015, various industry watchers have projected that China, the biggest market for smartphones in the world right now, was going to experience some slowing down in terms of growth. Typically, the last three months of any given year (October to December, aka the holiday shopping spree quarter) are always the most robust for the global smartphone market, but during the final quarter of 2015, sales never really generated much optimism for the rest of 2016. Another research firm, Gartner, has even noted that global smartphone sales during that period are down to 2008 levels.
The signs are certainly there. The mighty Apple, just two years removed from releasing its best selling iPhones ever (2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices), is officially announcing a slump in iPhone sales for the first time ever, as well as a decline in revenues in more than a decade. Indeed, during the first quarter of 2016, Apple posted only 51.2 million units of iPhone sales, a 16 percent decrease compared to 61.2 million units of iPhone sales during the same period in 2015.
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