IDC: Smartphone sales are flat lining, Samsung remains in first place

Kareem Anderson

After witnessing the collateral stock damage from recent Apple and Microsoft quarterly earnings reports, it would seem the smartphone market (even for Microsoft’s small market share) had a nasty impact on the two companies’ overall performance.

However, Microsoft and Apple are not alone in navigating a slowing trend among consumer purchases of smartphones. Today, IDC reports that rather than the incremental increases smartphone shipments have enjoyed for the past few quarters, the market has stalled across the board. While IDC does note that 334.9 million smartphones shipped worldwide last quarter and that the number represents a 0.2 percent increase from last year’s tally of 334.3 million, it’s also the lowest growth the industry has seen, ever.

With many vendors adopting more incremental updates based on two-year cycles, the market continues to stabilize leaving Samsung at the top the list for manufacture shipping the most phones in Q1 2016. Samsung contributed to the 334.9 million phones shipped with 81.9 of its own, marking a 0.6 percent decline from its spot last year for the same time. Apple clocked in at the number two spot with 51.2 million phone shipped and saw a massive 16.3 percent drop from its unusually high performance last of 61.2 million. Huawei saw its shipments increase overall to the tune of 27.5, up 58.4 percent from last year’s shipment of 17.4 million.

IDC Q1 2016
IDC Q1 2016 smartphone shipments

Companies such as OPPO, Vivo, and others rounded out the remaining mass of shipped phones with OPPO and Vivo seeing large gains (for relatively small markets) while the collation of ‘others’ saw and overall decrease from 159.8 million, down to 141.5 million.

As more news breaks about the smartphone market in 2016, it will interesting to see how Microsoft’s play to reduce its dependency marketing its mobile efforts plays out for the remainder of the year and how if a pivot away from the hardware is something other device makers might have to start considering.