Market Stats

Digitimes: VR-Enabled Smartphones to "Soar" in Q4

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Digitimes Research points out a sales opportunity for the holiday season-- the penetration rate of VR-enabled smartphones and tablets is to "soar" in Q4 2016, at least when compared to other devices.

mobile VR headset Helping smooth the way for VR-enabled smartphones is the successful H1 2016 launch of VR video-enabled Samsung flagship handsets. In the meantime Google and ARM are expected to update VR video applications with reduced algorithm requirements in Q4 2016, fostering the further development of enabled mobile devices.

According to Digitimes Research shipments of VR video-enabled smartphones are to reach 70 million units in 2016, accounting for 5% of overall global smartphone shipments.


Gartner: Premium Smartphone Sales Slow Down in Q2

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According to Gartner, global Q2 2016 smartphone smartphones total 344 million units-- a 4.3% Y-o-Y increase, if one seeing slowdown as customers prefer to wait for upcoming hardware launches in H2 2016.

Overall mobile phone sales for the quarter are down by -0.5% Y-o-Y, with only Samsung and 4 Chinese companies, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment, showing growth.

Gartner Q2 sales

Samsung also leads in smartphones, with Q2 2016 market share reaching 21.8% thanks to a strong device portfolio helping it win share previously occupied by Chinese vendors in emerging markets. Apple follows with a -7.7% Y-o-Y sales decline, the result of saturation in all mature markets, as well as the "worst" sales decline in Greater Chine and Asia/Pacific to date.

However Apple sees best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and E. Europe-- Gartner says Q2 2016 sales in the regions are up by over 95% Y-o-Y.


IDC: Tablets Continue to Slide

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The tablet market remains on the slump, IDC reports-- global shipments (combining both regular and hybrid tablets) are down by -12.3% Y-o-Y in Q2 2016, reaching 38.7 million units.

The decline comes as vendors "begin to refocus" product lines while customers hold off purchases. Predictably, the vast majority (65%) of tablets sold is Android-powered, followed by iOS (26%), but Windows appears to be slowly taking further hold of the market as vendors hedge their bets against declining Android volumes with the Microsoft alternative. How come? It all boils down to productivity.

IDC Q2 2016 tablets

"The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems-- it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables," the analyst says. "At present, it's difficult for Android to compete with iOS or Windows detachable products. However, the next 12 to 18 months will be very interesting as Google launches the next version of Android with better multi-tasking support and as they begin to bring together their two operating systems."


IDC: Smartphone Volumes Remain Flat in Q2

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Smartphones see a second straight quarter of essentially flat volumes on Q2 2016, IDC reports-- global shipments total 343.3 million, an increase of just 0.3% Y-o-Y. However some growth can be seen on a sequential basis, specifically 3.1% Q-o-Q.

"We continue to see a number of changing dynamics in the smartphone market and many vendors are readjusting their business strategy and portfolio to take advantage of these market movements," the analyst remarks. "Mature markets continue the transition away from pure subsidy and over to EIP programs and Apple is beginning to put more emphasis on 'Device as a Service' to try to prevent lengthening replacement cycles. This is a growing theme we have heard more about from PCs to smartphones."

IDC Q2 2016 smartphones

When it comes to vendors, outside the Samsung-Apple duopoly the market appears to be leaning towards the more affordable end of the market. Interestingly, Chinese OEMs are finding success in non-China markets despite local low-end competition, while bigger names are driving shipments with more affordable handsets. However IDC insists vendors need to continue pushing "flagship-type" devices at lower prices in order to encourage more frequent upgardes-- a strategy employed successfully by the likes of Huawei, Oppo, vivo and Xiaomi.


Gartner: Smartphone Sales Slow in 2016

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Gartner predicts global smartphone sales will continue to slow in 2016-- growth will no longer come at total double digits, instead clocking at 7% to reach 1.5 billion units, down from 14.4% seen in 2015.

Smartphones"The smartphone market will no longer grow at the levels it has reached over the last 7 years," the analyst admits. "Smartphone sales recorded their highest growth in 2010, reaching 73%."

What lead to such sales slowdown? A smartphone penetration rate reaching 90% in the mature W. European, N. American and Japanese markets, mainly. Furthermore, customers are not replacing or upgrading smartphones as often as in previous years, extending the premium handset lifecycle to 2.5 years-- a replacement rate set to remain as such over the next 5 years.

In the meantime communication service providers (CSPs) are moving away from providing "free" smartphone every 2 years, leading to more varied upgrade programs. For example, Apple offers customers with the latest iPhone after all of 12 months. However, Gartner says most customers prefer to hold on to handsets for 2 years or longer, since "technology updates have become incremental rather than exponential."