Skip to main content

Smartphone Market Hits a Ceiling

It turns out Apple isn’t the only one with a smartphone problem.

The consumer electronics giant April 26 reported its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone shipments, selling 51.2 million iPhones for the quarter, down from 61.2 million during the same quarter in 2015. And according to data from the U.K.’s Jupiter Research, Apple’s iPhone decline is just one sign that the smartphone market has peaked.

Related: Sony Looks to Bring PlayStation Games to Phones

Approximately 320 million smartphones were shipped worldwide during the first quarter of 2016, a year-over-year decline of almost 6%. Two Chinese manufacturers, Lenovo and Xiaomi, both saw quarterly drops in sales of their smartphones (15.9 million and 14 million, respectively, in the first three months of the year). And Sony April 28 announced it had shipped only 3.4 million Xperia phones in first quarter, down nearly 60% year over year. BlackBerry posted an estimated 53% decline in smartphone units shipped for the quarter.

If there’s a silver lining in the smartphone market, it’s coming from Samsung: the company April 28 reported it had shipped nearly 82 million smartphones, down less than 1% year over year. Huawei also reported good news for the first quarter: it shipped 27.5 million smartphones during the quarter, up almost 60% year over year.

Related: A Lot of Firsts for ATSC 3.0

“As the market as a whole slows, smartphone vendors need to adjust to targeting the replacement market,” Jupiter said in a statement. “Large growth in other areas, such as Africa, is unlikely unless there is a dramatic reduction in the ASP (average selling price) of lower-end smartphones, meaning that the market decline will to continue throughout the year.”