Has the smartphone market reached its saturation point? It may or may not be the case, but their number of purchases have declined over the last two years. According to a report by Gartner, their statistical report on Q2 global smartphones that slightly differs from the IDC report on this same subject matter.
At 1.7% year over year, it’s not a huge slice of the overall pie, but it does point to a continued problem for manufacturers, dropping from 374 million to 368 million. The biggest hit continues to be in the high end of the market, as higher prices coupled with longer refresh cycles and fewer compelling features continue to contribute to the decline.
Of the top five markets, only China and Brazil saw growth. At 0.5%, however, China’s slight bump wasn’t enough to turn things around. Interestingly, Gartner notes that some of China’s growth may be due to manufacturers looking to move old flagship stock to make way for 5G models. Additional 5G phones, coupled with more carrier coverage, could drive sales a bit as well in future quarters.
Gartner states that Apple’s market share decline was 1.4% versus IDC’s accounting of 2%.
Samsung has already sprung into action to address this new trend with the release of their new A-Series of smartphones with excellent specifications for the price. Of course Samsung currently restricts their A-Series smartphones to Asian markets where they are battling all of China’s top OEMs such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.
Sales of iPhones continued to decline year over year, although at a lesser rate compared with the first quarter of 2019.
Apple sold just over 38 million iPhones in the second quarter, a 13.8% decline year over year.
One of the reasons for the slow decline is that people are making bigger investments on high-end smartphones and keeping them for an extended period of time. For example, a cost concerned user may retain a device like iPhone X or Galaxy S8 for more than a year’s time.
Gartner expects that sales of worldwide smartphone sales to end-users will total 1.5 billion units in 2019.