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‘Smartphones global sale growth slowest since 2013’

New Delhi :Global smartphone sales grew at its slowest pace since 2013 at 13.5 per cent to 330 million units in the second quarter of 2015, impacted by declining sales in China, research firm Gartner said on Thursday.

Worldwide sales of smartphones to end-users totalled 329.67 million units, an increase of 13.5 per cent from 290.38 million units in the same period in 2014, Gartner said in a statement.

“While demand for lower-cost 3G and 4G smartphones continued to drive growth in emerging markets, overall smartphone sales remained mixed region by region in the second quarter of 2015,” Gartner Research Director Anshul Gupta said.

Emerging Asia/Pacific (excluding China), Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa were the fastest-growing regions, driven by good performance from Chinese and local vendors, he added.

By contrast, smartphone sales in China fell for the first time year over year, recording a four per cent decline.

“China is the biggest country for smartphone sales, representing 30 per cent of total sales of smartphones in the second quarter of 2015. Its poor performance negatively affected the performance of the mobile phone market in the second quarter,” Gupta said.

He added that China has reached “saturation”, its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers.

“Beyond the lower-end phone segment, the appeal of premium smartphones will be key for vendors to attract upgrades and to maintain or grow their market share in China,” he said.

Samsung led the tally with 21.9 per cent share in the April-June 2015 quarter, followed by Apple (14.6 per cent), Huawei (7.8 per cent), Lenovo (five per cent) and Xiaomi (4.9 per cent).

In terms of operating system (OS) market, Android saw its global share being affected by the weak performance of China and the strong performance of Apple in the Asian nation.

“Android saw its lowest year-over-year growth of 11 per cent with share reaching 82.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2015, Gupta said.
iOS (Apple) had a share of 14.6 per cent, Windows (2.5 per cent) and BlackBerry (0.3 per cent) in the second quarter of 2015.

The total mobile handset market (feature and smartphones) grew marginally to 445.75 million units in the said quarter from 444.19 million units in the April-June 2014 quarter.

Samsung led the total market with 19.9 per cent, followed by Apple (10.8 per cent), Microsoft (6.2 per cent), Huawei (5.9 per cent), LG Electronics (4 per cent), Lenovo (3.7 per cent), Xiaomi (3.6 per cent), TCL Communication (3.5 per cent), ZTE (3.3 per cent) and Micromax (2.2 per cent).