Global smartphone shipments tumbled 9 percent annually to reach 400 million units in Q4 2017, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.
It was the biggest annual fall in smartphone history. Apple captured first place with 19% global marketshare, nudging Samsung into second position. Xiaomi continued its relentless rise, almost doubling smartphone shipments from a year ago.
Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “The shrinkage in global smartphone shipments was caused by a collapse in the huge China market, where demand fell 16 percent annually due to longer replacement rates, fewer operator subsidies and a general lack of wow models. However, on a full-year basis, global smartphone shipments grew 1 percent and topped an impressive 1.5 billion units for the first time ever.”
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple shipped 77.3 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2017, slipping 1 percent annually from 78.3 million in Q4 2016. Despite robust iPhone X demand and an iPhone average selling price approaching an incredible US$800, we note global iPhone volumes have actually declined on an annual basis for 5 of the past 8 quarters. If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve. Samsung dipped 4 percent annually and shipped 74.4 million smartphones for 19 percent marketshare worldwide in Q4 2017, up slightly from 18 percent share a year ago. Samsung is under pressure from Chinese rivals in some major markets, like China and India, but it remains by far the largest smartphone brand on a global basis, shipping an unmatched 317.5 million units in full-year 2017.”
Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q4 2017, holding steady from the same level a year ago. Huawei is performing well across Asia and Europe, but it is struggling to crack the valuable US market due to limited distribution channels. Huawei’s goal to be the world’s number one or two smartphone vendor is unlikely to happen if it cannot make headway in the United States.”