Apple, Samsung face pressure in smartphone market in 2015

Worldwide Smartphone Sales in Q4 2015American technology major Apple posted its first decline in the iPhone smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2015. Apple iPhone sales fell 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Apple iPhone smartphone market share dipped to 17.7 percent in Q4 2015 from 20.4 percent in Q4 2014.

There was no respite for Samsung as well. Samsung lost smartphone share to 22.5 percent in 2015 from 24.7 percent in 2014.

Samsung and Apple are not the darling of telecoms.

Apple iPhone is no long-term fix for mobile operators. Telecom network operators have for too long relied on the latest mobile handsets to attract customers to their networks, in some cases acquiring exclusive deals to their brands to help drive sales. However the effectiveness of leveraging the latest iPhone or Samsung handsets to drive sales is now in question.

“It’s time for operators to break the mould of attracting customers through handset sales, and equip themselves to start competing on the services that they deliver to their customers; innovating in voice and video communication services. There is ample scope for creating valuable services for business customers and more mainstream services for consumers. In order to do this, operators must have the capability to deliver service innovation independently without having to rely on third parties,” said Mark Windle, head of marketing, OpenCloud.

Samsung is the number one vendor in smartphone sales in both Q4 and 2015. “For Samsung to fight off falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop churn to iOS devices,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

With an increase of 53 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, Huawei achieved the best performance year on year.

Sales of smartphones to end users rose 9.7 percent to 403 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 and grew 14.4 percent to 1.4 billion units in 2015, according to Gartner.

85 percent of users in the emerging Asia Pacific region are replacing their current midrange phone with the same category of phone. Current market conditions are leading some device vendors to set up local manufacturing units – in India and Indonesia – to avoid unfavourable currency devaluations and high import taxes.

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com