Apple Posts 20% YoY growth and Record Profits despite Q4 Smartphone Slowdown

Microsoft Declines and Samsung Smartphones Grow by Less than 1%
Global smartphone market now reaching over 1.4 billion device shipments per annum

Hampshire, UK – 1st February 2016: Leading mobile analyst firm Juniper Research today released its Q4 and full year smartphone market assessment for 2015:
  • Samsung shipped an estimated 317m smartphones, representing less than 1% YoY growth
  • Apple posts slowest ever YoY iPhone growth, but with record profits
  • Microsoft’s phones continue to slide, shipments declining 57% YoY to 4.5 million devices
  • Xiaomi Misses Annual Sales Target, Slowing to 75m shipments

Global smartphone market slowdown has begun to impact all players, with the slowest Q4 market growth since 2008. This has begun to impact even the usually impervious Apple, which reported a 0.4% YoY growth in iPhone shipments for the quarter. However, successes early in the year gave the California-based company a more comfortable 20% year-on-year growth.

Global-Smartphone-Vendor-Market-Share-Shipments-2015.pngSamsung continued as market leader in 2015, shipping an estimated 317 million devices and producing a YoY increase in smartphone shipments in Q4 thanks to the moderate success of the Note 5 phablet and A-line and J-line releases to developing markets. However, this is only a mildly upbeat finish for the behemoth; while the company’s revenue mix is increasing, the company is falling severely behind the market as a whole in terms of shipment growth.

China’s Mixed Fortunes

Ambitious Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei defied the quarter’s trend and posted a YoY gain of 35%, shipping over 32 million and comfortably exceeding its 100 million shipments target for the year. Meanwhile Xiaomi ceased its meteoric rise and missed its revised 80 million target, shipping just over 75 million smartphones for the year, in spite of expanding to Brazil in H2 2015.

Android Gives Little Solace to International Vendors

  • Early smartphone high-flyer HTC continued its decline in Q4, with a 36% YoY decrease in sales, shipping less than 3 million devices for the quarter.
  • The Android-based ‘Priv’ has done little to salvage BlackBerry’s smartphone fortunes. Only 734,000 smartphones were shipped in Q4, leaving the Canadian firm with only 3.7 million devices shipped for 2015.
  • Overall growth has been slow for LG, with less than 1% growth for its smartphones business during 2015. Q4 results were even less promising, with 15.3 million shipments showing a decline of approximately 2%.
  • Sony reported 7.6 million smartphones shipped in Q4, weaker than its Q1 2015 and a YoY decline of over 36%.
From these results, it is clear that there is no ecosystem that will insulate vendors from the slowing market. As features become ‘good enough’ everywhere and subsidies end in the US, Juniper expects the market to slow further as Asian markets become saturated and American customers have to pay the full cost of their smartphones.

The Smartphone Quarterly Report gets under the skin of the latest market developments, analyses their implications, and forecasts how they will affect the overall market size. For further insights go to the Juniper Research website.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

For further details please contact Sam Smith, Press Relations
T: +44(0)1256 830002

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