It has recently been announced, that for the first time in history, demand for smartphones has fallen.
According to research conducted by Strategy Analytics, shipments of the devices to both customers and vendors has fallen by 3% to 334.6 million units in the first quarter of 2016, from 345 million units in the corresponding quarter of last year.
This is the first time that consumer spending in this sector has shrunk. Analysts and experts have attributed this decline to a number of variables, including market saturation and the consumer spending slowing, weak international currencies and consumers upgrading their devices on a less regular basis.
The news comes just after Californian tech giant Apple announced a drop in sales of the iPhone for the first time ever, halting an incredible streak of sales growth. The company saw a decrease of 10 million units from the 61 million handsets sold in the first quarter of 2015.
As well as this, Apple’s South Korean competitor Samsung also reported a 4% decline in sales over the same period of time. Despite the two companies losing sales, they remain the top two in the global smartphone market, with Samsung leading the way with 23.6% market share, and Apple holding 15.3%.
Chinese brands took places third to fifth, with Huawei taking third place, holding 8.5% of the market, marking a 5% increase compared to last year. Fourth and fifth positions switched hands this year, with two Chinese brands occupying these positions; Oppo overtook Xiaomi to claim fourth place, holding 4.6% to Xiaomi’s 4.4%.
Better known brands in the Western world, such as Blackberry, Sony and HTC, all fall into the ‘Others’ category, which holds the remaining 43.6% of the market.
Smartphones are now becoming an integral part of the world of business. Mobile phones, as well as other portable devices like tablets, enable business people to keep up to date with their emails, tweak important documents and even balance the books while on the go.
Google is just one company that has acknowledged the importance of smartphones by adjusting its search and ranking algorithms to become more mobile friendly. It will even start to penalise website owners who are not optimising their sites and making them fully responsive on these devices.
Mobile phone companies will be scratching their heads and discussing new ways in which they can overcome the issue of market saturation. New handsets will be coming into the market this year, including the latest model of the iPhone.