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23 February 2018, 02:02 | Gerardo Harmon
Smartphone sales decline for first time ever
Nearly 408 million smartphones were sold during the three months until the end of 2017, a 5.6 percent decline on the previous year.
The research firm says this is a outcome of users picking more expensive/quality models (as is demonstrated with the iPhone X sales reports by Kantar) and keeping them longer, and the tendency for upgrading feature phone users to buy quality feature phones which have resurfaced as a market in recent times.
Secondly, replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle.
Smartphones sales to end users in 2017 totaled over 1.5 billion units, an increase of 2.7 percent from 2016, and Huawei, ranked No. 3, raised its share in 2017 by continuing to gain on Apple, the tech giant in the United States.
Xiaomi sold 28.188 million units of smartphones in the fourth quarter of past year, making up for 6.9 percent of the global market shares. It does not appear to have ruled out that the iPhone X might sell eventually, all though the signs are that Apple is extremely disappointed with the sales figures.
A decade of growth now means most people have access to a smartphone or tablet device, but the latest research will be worrying for the telecoms industry, which has experienced falling sales in China, the world's biggest smartphone market.
Gartner pointed out Samsung is poised to lift the covers off its flagship mobe, though "significant sales" volumes are generated by customers buying entry-level and mid-priced hardware.
Gartner says it's expecting a delayed sales boost for Apple in the first quarter of 2018, now that the flagship's delivery cycle has returned to normal.
Huawei sold about 150.534 million units of smartphones previous year, accounting for 9.8 percent of the world total.
With respect to operating systems, Android tightened its stranglehold on the sector with market share of 85.9 per cent, up from 84.8 per cent in 2016. iOS shrank to 14 per cent from 14.4 per dent and "other OSes" including Windows held 0.1 per cent of smartmobe sales, down from 0.8 per cent. ®.
Huawei and Xiaomi were the only smartphone vendors to achieve year-on-year unit growth (7.6% and 79% respectively).
Apple dropped 5 per cent in the quarter to 73.17 million and the company should make up sales in the current quarter, said Gupta.
The two Chinese companies grew their market shares in the fourth quarter of 2017, as Huawei added new smartphone models including Mate 10 Lite, Honor 6C Pro and Enjoy 7S that broadened the appeal of its mobile products.
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