The last quarter of 2017 closed the year bringing minimal change to the worldwide smartphone market when compared to 2016. According to a recently released International Data Corporation (IDC)’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 403.5 million units during the fourth quarter of 2017, resulting in a 6.3 percent decline when compared to the 430.7 million units shipped in the final quarter of 2016. Also Read - Redmi Note 10T, Note 10 price in India hiked by Rs 500: Check new prices here
This means, for the full year, the worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1.472 billion units shipped, declining less than one percent from the 1.473 billion units shipped in 2016. Also Read - iPhone 11 selling with more than Rs 8,000 discount in India, but for a limited period
Researchers attribute the dip to the shift to ultra-high-end flagships in 2017, because of which a lot of smartphones jumped in the luxury segment than being a necessity. “With ultra-high-end flagships all the rage in 2017, many of these new bezel-less wonders proved to be more of a luxury than a necessity among upgraders. Even though we have seen new full-screen displays, advanced biometrics, and improved artificial intelligence, the new and higher price points could be outweighing the benefits of having the latest and greatest device in hand,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. Also Read - RedmiBook Pro, RedmiBook e-Learning Edition launch in India, start at Rs 41,999
Additionally, researchers observe that 2017 has been a year when companies offered their widest product portfolio ever in hopes of capturing a greater audience. “Meanwhile, brands outside the top 5 struggled to maintain momentum as value brands such as Honor, Vivo, Xiaomi, and OPPO offered incredible competition at the low end, and brands like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei maintained their stronghold on the high end,” Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said.
Apple lead the smartphone market in the quarter, and its success has majorly been attributed to iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. However, despite being on top of the ladder, IDC says “Apple experienced a slight downturn from the previous holiday quarter as iPhone volumes reached 77.3 million units, a year-over-year decline of 1.3 percent.”
“Although demand for the new higher priced iPhone X may not have been as strong as many expected, the overall iPhone lineup appealed to a wider range of consumers in both emerging and developed markets. Apple finished second for the full year in 2017 shipping 215.8 million units, up 0.2 percent from the 215.4 million units shipped in 2016.”
Samsung, on the other hand, remained the overall leader in the worldwide smartphone market for 2017 despite losing out to Apple in the fourth quarter. Samsung reportedly shipped 74.1 million units in 4Q17, down 4.4 percent compared to the 77.5 million units from last year. Samsung finished the year with 317.3 million shipments, up 1.9 percent from the 311.4 million shipments in 2016.
Huawei continues to hold the number three position despite intensified competition from growing Chinese players such as Oppo and Vivo. Huawei shipped 41.0 million units, down 9.7 percent from the 45.4 million shipped in the fourth quarter of 2016. Whereas, Xiaomi managed to double its share to 7 percent from 3.3 percent during the Q4 2016.