IDC has reported growth of just 0.2% in global smartphone shipments in the first calendar quarter of 2016, with a significant fall in the rate of growth in China identified as the driver behind the slowdown.
Samsung comfortably managed to retain its position at the top of the tree, maintaining its year on year volume. As previously discussed Apple saw a massive contraction in volume, though it retained second place in the market. However the growth of Huawei at number three continues at a pace, with volume up by nearly 60% year on year.
It’s not inconceivable that Huawei may sneak past Apple into second place in the market ahead of the launch of the iPhone 7 – which will undoubtedly fix Apple’s sales problems.
Oppo and vivo are now the fourth and fifth placed manufacturers, both growing massively – IDC suggests that this is a result of the change in the buying patterns of the Chinese market, with average selling price rising from $207 in 2013 to $257 last year.
None of which explains why Apple sales are so far off. The Chinese market has continued to grow – and we’re told that Apple is strong in China. The richening of the average sales price should benefit Apple. So either Apple has seen a massive slowdown outside of China, whilst still performing well in China, or it has failed to maintain its momentum in the region.
With Q1 containing the Chinese New Year sales bump, it will be interesting to see what happens to the market in Q2 – will there be a contraction of the market as a whole, mirroring the fall in Apple’s sales at one month delay or will it hold steady, with the fall in Apple’s sales being a blip, perhaps caused by delays ahead of the iPhone SE launch and supply problems once it became available.