The smartphone market’s growth has gone flat across the world, reports data firm International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC numbers showed that in Q1 2016 the global smartphone market grew at an insignificant 0.2%, the smallest year-over-year growth on record.
It also comes at a time when Apple has seen a massive decline in iPhone sales, and reported its first drop in revenue since 2003. Apple, which shipped close to 51.2 million smartphones in the quarter, is still number two in the global vendors list, but well below global leader Samsung.
Samsung maintained its lead with robust sales of Galaxy S7, S7 edge and the budget A and J series and close to 81 million shipments. The South-Korean giant, which posted its results on Thursday, said the mobile division was its biggest earner for the first time since Q2 of 2014. For Samsung, profit for the smartphone division jumped 42% from a year earlier. But while Samsung has stemmed its losses to some extent, the picture is bleak for the rest of the market. IDC blames smartphone saturation in developed markets for this ‘flat growth’ along with a decline in shipments from both Apple and Samsung.
Apple faced its “first-ever year-over-year decline in the first quarter.” The report notes that iPhone 6, 6 Plus owners have not felt the need to upgrade to the 6s series. The same was acknowledged by Apple CEO Tim Cook in the company’s investor earnings call, where he said the upgrade rate for iPhone 6s was not high, compared to when iPhone 6 had launched.
Interestingly, the list of top five vendors in the world now includes Oppo and ‘vivo’, two newer Chinese brands that have dislodged previous fourth and fifth place players Lenovo and Xiaomi.