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Global Smartphone Sales Fell for the First Time Ever in Early 2016

April 28, 2016, 9:58 AM UTC
Apple Poised to Sell 10 Million IPhones in Record Debut
A customer tries the Siri voice assistant function on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 at a Telstra Corp. store on George Street in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Apple Inc. is poised for a record iPhone 5 debut and may not be able to keep up with demand as customers line up from Sydney to New York to pick up the latest model of its top-selling product. The device hits stores in eight countries today at 8 a.m. local time, giving customers in Australia the first chance to buy the device. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Ian Waldie—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Global shipments of smartphones shrank 3% in the first quarter from a year earlier in the market’s first year-on-year contraction on record, researcher Strategy Analytics said on Thursday, reflecting growing strains on the industry.

This report comes on the heels of Wednesday’s report from International Data Corp that the global smartphone market grew at just 0.2%in the first quarter, the slowest rate the research firm had ever measured. On Tuesday, Apple reported that its first quarter iPhone sales fell 16% to 51.2 million. That marked the first time iPhone sales declined on a year-to-year basis since the product was introduced in 2007.

Strategy Analytics said in a statement January-March shipments fell to 334.6 million devices from 345 million in the same period a year earlier, as major markets such as China matured and concerns about the global economy weighed on consumer sentiment.

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) remained the world’s top smartphone maker, but saw shipments fall by 4.5% to 79 million, Strategy Analytics said. The firm’s market share dipped slightly, to 23.6% from 24% a year earlier.

Apple (AAPL) remained in second place, but saw shipments fall 16% to 51.2 million from a year earlier as Strategy Analytics cited what it called “iPhone fatigue.” Apple’s market share dropped to 15.3% from 17.7% a year earlier, the researcher said.