While the PC market has seen declining growth in recent years, smartphones have generally been a bright spot: phone makers have been selling more smartphones each year than the last. But that kind of growth might not last much longer.
Research from Gartner shows a slowdown in the worldwide growth rate of smartphone sales. Sure, with an estimated 330 million units sold in the second quarter of 2015, phone makers sold more smartphones than a year earlier.
But that still represents the slowest growth rate since 2013.
The smartphone industry may be slowing, but it is still growing. New regions have seen a larger influx of sales year-over-year. Areas of Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa have shown to be the fastest growing regions in 2015.
The problem country seems to be China. According to Gartner, the country supplying 30 percent of total sales of smartphones worldwide declined for the first time year-over-year by four percent.
Gartner attributes the decline to saturation. There are fewer first-time smartphone buyers in China, while the upgrade rate has not had enough of an effect.
The report also divided out worldwide smartphone sales by operating system. An interesting note is that Android and iOS combined made up 96.8 percent of the entire smartphone market with Windows following far behind at only 2.5 percent of the market and BlackBerry OS at 0.3 percent. The “Other” category maxed out at 0.4 percent.
It is important to note that the numbers provided by Gartner are estimates. It’s hard to come by actual sales figures from companies like Apple that only tend to release numbers when they’re very, very good.
Additionally, the research does not take into account the upcoming smartphone launches, which could have an impact on sales in the bigger markets. Samsung recently launched the Note 5 and S6 Edge+, Blackberry’s first Android-based smartphone was just revealed, and those image leaks of the Nexus 5 look promising.
Sales growth may have slowed down during the second quarter of 2015, but it does not mean the industry is going to suffer for it.