Smartphone Sales Fall in China, Market Saturated, India Booming

UPDATE August 21, 2015: But Smartphone Sales in India are booming! -- India's Smartphone Market Soars in the Second Quarter of 2015 Says IDC: "While both China and India offer a huge consumer base, there are few differences between the two markets including:
  • In the latest quarter, almost one-fifth of the smartphones sold in China were sub-US$100, while in India almost 50% of all smartphones shipped during the same period were in this price segment; 
  • Apple has 19 Apple Stores in China at present, whereas India doesn’t have an Apple Store
  • The high-end Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge had a small contribution to the total Samsung smartphone sales in India, but a considerably larger contribution in China; 
  • Unlike China, we don’t expect the Indian consumer to make a quick switch to the smartphone, and vendors should keep in mind that they are here for the long haul.
  • IDC expects India to maintain a double-digit growth rate in the smartphone market over the next few years as people switch to smartphones and gradually upgrade to 4G smartphones as well. 
  • By 2017, we expect India to overtake the United States as the second largest smartphone market globally."

Infographic: The State of the Global Smartphone Market | Statista
Source: Statista

Gartner chart: Worldwide Smartphone Sales 2Q2015 by OS
Gartner chart: Worldwide Smartphone Sales 2Q2015 by OS
  1. Worldwide Smartphone Sales Recorded Slowest Growth Rate Since 2013 
  2. Smartphone Sales Declined for the First Time in China 
  3. Android's Year-Over-Year Growth Rate at its Lowest 
In a report likely to have wide-ranging ramifications--from Apple to Android OS manufacturers--Gartner (gartner.com) says smartphone sales have fallen for the first time in China, and the market is saturated:

"Gartner, Inc. said worldwide smartphone sales recorded the slowest growth rate since 2013 in the second quarter of 2015. Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users totaled 330 million units, an increase of 13.5 percent over the same period in 2014 (see Table 1).  "While demand for lower-cost 3G and 4G smartphones continued to drive growth in emerging markets, overall smartphone sales remained mixed region by region in the second quarter of 2015," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. Emerging Asia/Pacific (excluding China), Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa were the fastest-growing regions, driven by good performance from Chinese and local vendors. 

"By contrast, smartphone sales in China fell for the first time year over year, recording a 4 percent decline.  "China is the biggest country for smartphone sales, representing 30 percent of total sales of smartphones in the second quarter of 2015. Its poor performance negatively affected the performance of the mobile phone market in the second quarter," said Mr. Gupta. "China has reached saturation — its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers. Beyond the lower-end phone segment, the appeal of premium smartphones will be key for vendors to attract upgrades and to maintain or grow their market share in China."  Despite the launch of new S6 models, Samsung's premium phones continued to be challenged by Apple's large-screen iPhones. Samsung lost 4.3 percentage points in market share and declined 5.3 percent in unit sales in the second quarter of 2015. Huawei recorded the highest sales growth rate of 46.3 percent, thanks to strong overseas sales and 4G smartphone sales in China. iPhone sales increased 36 percent, which helped Apple gain 2.4 percentage points in market share..." 

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