Report: Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined for the First Time Ever Last Year

Report: Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined for the First Time Ever Last Year

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Gartner is an American research and advisory firm that is well known for providing technology related data for IT and other business leaders all around the world. They have become well known within the smartphone industry as they collect (and sell) a lot of data about how many devices have been sold throughout the year. The company just released a new report for the fourth quarter of 2017, and their data shows that the smartphone market has declined when comparing these sales numbers to Q4 2016.

The drop in sales during Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016 wasn’t anything drastic, but seeing those numbers drop by 5.6% YoY was surprising as its the first yearly decline recorded since the agency began tracking the marketplace in 2004. It should also be noted that this drop in sales wasn’t something that every single smartphone OEM saw either. While the leaders in the market (Samsung and Apple) did see a decline over this time period, others (Huawei and Xiaomi) saw an increase.


So, as we break down this data, it shows that Samsung had sold 76.7 million units during Q4 2016 but saw this number decline to 74 million during Q4 2017. As mentioned, Apple saw a decline from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 as well when they went from 77 million units sold down to 73.1 million. OPPO is another that made it into the top five of this list that also sold fewer smartphones during this same time period. In 2016 they sold 26.7 million units during Q4, but last year they ended up selling 25.6 million.

The two winners during this time period ended up being both Huawei as well as Xiaomi. Huawei ranked number three in this list with 40.8 million units sold during Q4 2016 and saw an increase up to 43.8 million units for Q4 2017. Xiaomi is the other winner here as they had sold 15.7 million units during Q4 2016 and was able to increase that to an impressive 28.1 million units sold during Q4 2017. The last entry here in this chart combines all other OEMs into the “Others” category which went from 195 million units in Q4 2016 down to 162.9 million units sold in Q4 2017.

Source: Gartner