Global sales of smartphones to end users reached 1.4 billion units in 2015, an increase of 14.4% from 2014 according to Gartner, Inc.
The market research firm said that 85% of users in the emerging Asia/Pacific market are replacing their current midrange phone with the same category of phone. In addition, currency devaluations against the U.S. dollar in many emerging markets are putting further margin pressure on many vendors that import devices. Current market conditions are prompting some vendors to consider setting up manufacturing operations in India and Indonesia to avoid being hit by future unfavorable currency devaluations and high import taxes.
For total sales of smartphones in 2015, Samsung maintained the No. 1 position, but its market share declined by 2.2 percentage points. Meanwhile, Apple sold 225.9 million iPhones in 2015, to achieve a market share of almost 16%. Huawei’s smartphone sales approached 104 million units, up 53% year over year.
2015 Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor (Thousands of Units)
|Company||2015 Units||2015 Market Share (%)||2014 Units||2014 Market Share (%)|
|Lenovo (including Motorola)||72,748.2||5.1||81,415.8||6.5|
In the fourth quarter of 2015, smartphone sales to end users totaled 403 million units, a 9.7% increase over the same period in 2014. However, this was their slowest growth rate since 2008.
4Q15 Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor (Thousands of Units)
|Company||4Q15 Units||4Q15 Market Share (%)||4Q14 Units||4Q14 Market Share (%)|
|Lenovo (including Motorola)||20,014.7||5.0||24,299.9||6.6|
Samsung and Huawei were the only two top-five smartphone vendors to increase their sales to end users in Q4. Apple suffered its first decline in sales of smartphones — iPhone sales were down 4.4%.
Although Samsung was the No.1 vendor, Gartner analysts said the company faces challenges. “For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices,” Gartner said.
With an increase in sales of 53% in the fourth quarter of 2015, Huawei achieved the best performance year over year. Huawei’s increased brand visibility overseas, and its decision to sell almost only smartphones, gave it a higher average selling price in 2015.
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 4Q15 (Thousands of Units)
|4Q15 Market Share (%)||4Q14
|4Q14 Market Share (%)|
In terms of smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android increased 16.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015, accounting 80.7% of the the total global smartphone sales. “Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015,” Gartner said. In the premium segment, despite Apple’s slower year-over-year fourth-quarter sales, Apple narrowed the market share gap with Samsung in 2015 as a whole.