Samsung sold the most phones in Q4 2017 despite market decline

Samsung sold the most phones in Q4 2017 despite market decline

Fewer people are switching their feature phones to smartphones "due to a lack of quality "ultra-low-cost" smartphones" and instead are buying nicer feature phones, Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta said Thursday.

Apple's performance in Q4 was also impacted by the fact its over hyped iPhone X arrived late and drove slower upgrades of its other two new smartphones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. "This is the first year-on-year decline since Gartner started tracking the global smartphone market in 2004". "Second, replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle of smartphones".

"While demand for high quality, 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales", Gupta said.

The global smartphone market is shrinking for the first time as choosey buyers in emerging markets hang on to their mobiles for longer. It has become harder for handset vendors to make huge changes in their devices and differentiate from one another.

Even Apple has struggled.

"The launches of its next flagship devices are likely to boost Samsung's smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2018", the report said.

Market leader Samsung saw its smartphone sales drop from 76.8 million past year to 74.0 million in 2018, although its market share increased from 17.8 percent to 18.2 percent, as consumers continued to buy fewer phones from less successful companies.

While Apple's market share stabilised in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016, iPhone sales fell 5 per cent.

Huawei and Xiaomi were the only smartphone vendors which enjoyed growth year-on-year at 7.6 percent and 79 percent, respectively.

Now Playing: Watch this: iPhone X is the top seller, but total iPhone sales take. Apple occupied the second place with 17.9% market share against Samsung's 18.2%.

Smartphones sales for all of 2017 increased by 2.7 percent from the previous year to 1.5 billion.

"Future growth opportunities for Huawei will reside in winning market share in emerging APAC and the USA", said Gupta, "Xiaomi's biggest market outside China is India, where it will continue to see high growth".

Elsewhere, Android extended its lead as the top smartphone operating system, up 1.1 percentage points to 86 per cent of the market. Apple's iOS remained at about 14 percent.