The fourth quarter of 2017 brought the first decline in smartphone sales since 2004, as shipments of both leaders Samsung and Apple dropped late last year.
Data provided by Gartner indicates that total sales in Q4 dropped 5.6 percent as compared to the same period the year before to 408 million units, and despite the declining performance of Apple and Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi performed strong.
Samsung sold a little over 74 million units during Q4 2017, down from 76.7 million units in Q4 2016, a decline of 3.6 percent. But the overall decline of the entire market secure Samsung a share of 18.2%, up from 17.8% in 2016.
Apple was the runner-up with 73.1 million sold units, a massive decline from no less than 77 million units in the same quarter the year before. Apple’s market share is now 17.9%.
What’s more worrying for Apple, however, is that iPhone sales are declining, and Gartner says that the flagship device recorded a drop of no less than 5 percent.
“Apple was in a different position this quarter than it was 12 months before. It had three new smartphones — the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X — yet its performance in the quarter was overshadowed by two factors,” Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said.
“First, the later availability of the iPhone X led to slow upgrades to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as users waited to try the more-expensive model. Second, component shortages and manufacturing capacity constraints preceded a long delivery cycle for the iPhone X, which returned to normal by early December 2017. We expect good demand for the iPhone X to likely bring a delayed sales boost for Apple in the first quarter of 2018.”
Huawei, on the other hand, now at 10.8%, sold 43.8 million units, up from 40.8 million, while in Xiaomi’s case, the growth was absolutely impressive – 28.1 million units versus 15.7 million.
Overall, Samsung accounted for 20.9% of the phones sold last year with 321.2 million units, while Apple was the runner up with 14% share and 214.9 million units. Android accounted for 1.3 billion of the sold phones in 2017.