Global Smartphone Market Grows in Q1 2016 as iPhone Share Shrinks to 14%

Apple's global smartphone market share fell to 14.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016, down from 17.9 percent in the same period the previous year, despite a 3.9 percent growth in overall smartphone sales compared to Q1 2015, according to Gartner (via DigiTimes).

The number of smartphones delivered to end users in Q1 totalled 349 million globally, compared to 336 in the same period in 2015. Apple shipped 51.6 million iPhones to maintain its number two spot in the top five largest makers, while Samsung reached unit sales of 81.2 million to maintain its position as number one. The figures show Samsung extended its lead over Apple in the same period with a 23.2 percent market share, despite a slight decline from 24.1% in Q1 2015.

Gartner May 2016
Oppo had the best performance in the first quarter of 2016, moving into the number 4 position among the top-five smartphone vendors with unit sales growth of 145%. Like Huawei and Xiaomi, Oppo saw strong growth in China, taking share from the likes of Lenovo, Samsung and Yulong, Gartner indicated.

The overall growth in smartphone sales was put down to a demand for low-cost handsets in emerging markets and more affordable 4G promotion plans globally.

In a separate note disclosed by research firm IDC yesterday, more Google Chromebooks were sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2016 than Apple's entire Mac line.

Apple's Mac shipments are estimated to have been around 1.76 million in Q1 this year, according to an IDC analyst who spoke to The Verge, while combined estimates for Dell, HP, and Lenovo put the number of low-cost Chromebooks sold at 2 million in the same quarter.

IDC put the Chromebook's sales growth down to their appeal in the education sector, with wide uptake across K-12 schools in the United States. The milestone also comes at a time when Mac sales have held steady while PC shipments have seen an overall decline, making the news more of a concern for Microsoft as it tries to maintain its dominance in the low-cost laptop market.

The research firm also predicted a "modest rebound" over the coming months as buyers consider transitioning to Windows 10 and a continued increase Chromebook sales.

Tags: IDC, Gartner


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42 months ago
A not insignificant loss of market share on a growing market? Neglecting natural fluctuations due to product cycles, this is usually super alarming...

But dont worry, Tim Cook has a super "innovative" plan here! Rather than having a word with his software department regarding its recent software quality standards or releasing real hardware innovations, Apple is about to conquer the Indian market...

Thats not the Apple i have grown to love in the past... Good luck nontheless.
Rating: 19 Votes
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42 months ago
When you stop making great products, what do you expect? That's where it needs to get back to, great products. We've been missing that since before the introduction of iPhone 6. Pricing is a very big problem as well. iPhone 6s is at least $200 overpriced, or more accurately, Apple is taking an unnecessary and greedy premium for doing nothing of substance in improving their models in recent years.
Rating: 11 Votes
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42 months ago
In before, ‘Market share doesn’t matter as Apple take most of the profits’, or, ‘People are waiting for the iPhone7’, but not, ‘People might actually prefer Android'.
Rating: 11 Votes
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42 months ago
Imagine if the rumors about the meh iPhone 7 are true...

As soon as I can get Galaxy S7 Edge (or very similar truly innovative, waterproof, awesome phone) with pure Android, I'm out. The hardware part of many Android flagships has long surpassed anything Apple offers. And the Android software not only has caught up - it is vibrantly alive and bursting with real innovation. All the services, voice recognition, VR, Google Home, Maps etc etc - all is lightyears ahead of the nickel-and-diming "innovators-my-ass" (I used to love Apple keynotes, now I just can't stand the smug Schiller & co).
Rating: 11 Votes
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42 months ago

This does not take into account the iPhone has dominant market share in Canada, Australia, Japan and varies between 48/52% market share in the UK and US on a year by year basis.

In a report about the world smartphone market share, how is singling out the market share in CAN, AUS, JPN, UK, and US going to be relevant? Also in a report about world market share, do you think the aforementioned countries are not a part of the world? Or somehow didn't get counted?

If you do take your information into account, how would it change the world market share? I haven't had coffee yet so I'm confused.
Rating: 9 Votes
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42 months ago

Smartphones, which in the end are just small computers with a small display, are finally just a common commodity to most of the world. Only in a wealthy countries is it still fashionable to have an "expensive" one to show off. The functionality of a cheap $150 smartphone is the same as a $950 iP6s+128 for the vast majority of people, so when having a fancy smartphone ceases to be fashionable, uh oh.
Residents of poor countries never had the option of being fashionable in the first place, which is why iPhone has never been a factor in the third or second world.
I've always wondered about the wisdom of Apple positioning itself as a fashion company. It's been working so far however, so I guess Apple is being run by people way smarter than me.


I have bought 4 iPhones in the last 8 years, but never for fashion. This sounds like a comment from someone who has never tried Windows or Android (or an iPhone). Well, I have, and I kept coming back because the iPhone works the best. Saying people buy it for fashion is a red flag to me, akin to reading "iSheep".
Rating: 7 Votes
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42 months ago

But let’s face it people. Android is ****. The platform is so fractured and there is no continuity between one vendor’s phone and the other with regard to software updates. Old phones are not at all updated, and security holes remain open.


Let's face it in all honesty. The Android platform is not '****'. If it was, highly priced android phones would not sell at all. But they do, to some extent. I quite frankly agree to Android having a fair amount of problems, the iOS platform does not have, never did, and probably will never have. At the same time, I can see these problems getting less and less by every major release. While with recent iOS release, I rather see it the other way around. Android is a highly customizable platform (for vendors AND users alike) with liberties, iOS will probably never offer. Please don't be fooled by CEO propaganda: Android phones do NOT crash on a daily basis. They admittedly used to, but thats a long time ago.

To sumit up: iPhone with ActiveSync for my work stuff, Android for my personal use: I couldnt be happier as i enjoy the best of two worlds at the same time!
Rating: 7 Votes
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42 months ago

The iPhone 7 better be revolutionary.


As an ex-iPhone user, I believe the next iPhone just needs to focus on giving people genuinely useful features at a reasonable (but not necessarily cheap) price.

Stuff like 3D touch grabs some headlines, but is ultimately fairly pointless. More useful would be things like an SD card slot (rather than charging $100+ to get a bit more memory), considerably better battery life (I forever see people charging their iPhones), fast charging (I no longer charge overnight, but for an hour each morning) and, dare I say, a notification light (although I guess Apple will never adopt this, even though it's one of the most useful features).
Rating: 6 Votes
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42 months ago

Apple is still making ALL the money in the smartphone market. That's the only metric I've ever cared about. I don't care about marketshare and that Apple is being outsold by OEMs lucky to turn one dollar profit on each unit sale. Profit is king, Apple are still the industry leaders by a billion miles.


meaningful only in context of a stockholder. As a consumer - why would you be excited that a company is making such margins on your purchase?
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Apple sells plenty of McDonalds burgers. Old iPhones, old iPads with outdated tech and macs that feel like from the turn of the century.
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They have the market share because they reinvest, not banking the money and paying dividends. Profit metric is meaningless.

It's a faulty analogy anyway. McDonalds makes a ton of profits. And people love McDonalds. Also McDonald's is a brand and steaks are an item. The fact that Apple's products sell in costco, walmart, etc negates the argument that they are some "premium" or exclusive product compared to their competitors.
Rating: 6 Votes
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42 months ago

Comparing sales of $250 internet-only Chromebooks to $900 and up Macs is ridiculous.

Having said that, Apple should have answered the Chromebook problem with iOS long ago.


As I understand it the education market is choosing Chromebooks over iPads too, so the market is giving us an idea of that already. I do find it news worthy that Chromebooks surpassed Macs, but it's a reflection of how we use our computers, not a sign of declining popularity for Mac.

As you said, Apple should've responded to the education market with a more suitable iOS device. Students benefit from having a keyboard and cheap plastic electronics that aren't expensive to fix or replace. Once Chromebooks support Android apps I think iPads will be an even tougher sell.

As for comparison with Macs. My parents, my wife, they only need a browser and occasionally word processing and printing. Chromebooks (with a cloud printer) take care of their needs. A Mac of any kind is overkill for that. The iPad is comfortable to use in bed but it's more expensive and in their minds less productive (smaller screen for standard size, no keyboard had to pay extra).
Rating: 6 Votes
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