New research from Strategy Analytics shows that global Q4 2017 smartphone shipments dropped 9 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, marking the sharpest drop since the debut of the smartphone.

Apple was the most popular smartphone provider, notching a 19% global market share, just nudging out Samsung. Also notable was Xiaomi, which continued its relentless rise, almost doubling smartphone shipments from a year ago.

“Global smartphone shipments declined 9 percent annually from 438.7 million units in Q4 2016 to 400.2 million in Q4 2017,” said Strategy Analytics director Linda Sui, in a prepared statement.  “The shrinkage in global smartphone shipments was caused by a collapse in the huge China market, where demand fell 16 percent annually due to longer replacement rates, fewer operator subsidies and a general lack of wow models. However, on a full-year basis, global smartphone shipments grew 1 percent and topped an impressive 1.5 billion units for the first time ever.”


Neil Mawston, the research firm’s executive director, added: “Apple shipped 77.3 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2017, slipping 1 percent annually from 78.3 million in Q4 2016. Despite robust iPhone X demand and an iPhone average selling price approaching an incredible US$800, we note global iPhone volumes have actually declined on an annual basis for 5 of the past 8 quarters. If Apple wants to expand shipment volumes in the future, it will need to launch a new wave of cheaper iPhones and start to push down, not up, the pricing curve.”

Mawston also noted that Samsung dipped 4 percent annually and shipped 74.4 million smartphones for 19 percent market share worldwide in Q4 2017, up slightly from 18 percent share a year ago. Samsung is under pressure from Chinese rivals in some major markets, like China and India, but it remains by far the largest smartphone brand on a global basis, shipping an unmatched 317.5 million units in full-year 2017, according to Mawston.

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don’t Miss Any of Our Content

What’s happening with broadband and why is it important? Find out by subscribing to Telecompetitor’s newsletter today.

You have Successfully Subscribed!