Research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics both presented their assessments of the smartphone market in Q1 2016, and while there were some significant differences, there was an agreement that the picture is far from rosy.
According to IDC, the market grew by 0.2 per cent year-on-year to 334.9 million units, marking “the smallest ever year-on-year growth on record”.
Strategy Analytics, meanwhile, had the unit decreasing by 3 per cent to 334.6 million units, marking “the first time ever since the modern smartphone market began in 1996 that global shipments have shrunk on an annualised basis”.
In fact, most of the discrepancy actually lies in the size of the Q1 2015 market, used for comparison purposes (334.4 million versus 345 million).
Both companies shared a view of the reason for Q1 weakness: saturation in major markets, including former growth-drivers such as China. Global economic conditions are also challenging.
Another interesting difference is the vendors listed as the top five. While both companies agree on one to four – Samsung, Apple, Huawei and Oppo – IDC gives fifth place to Vivo, whereas Strategy Analytics names Xiaomi.
What this actually shows is that aside from the top three, which have relatively secure positions, the race further down is much more competitive, with a bevy of companies ready to battle it out – including some big names, such as Lenovo/Motorola and LG Electronics, as well as ambitious players such as Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.