Apple’s double-digit growth in the high-end segment continued to negatively impact its rivals’ premium phone sales and profit margins. Many vendors had to realign their portfolios to remain competitive in the midrange and low-end smartphone segments. This realignment resulted in price wars and discounting to clear up inventory for new devices planned for the second half of 2015 …
The overall smartphone market remained sluggish, with Apple continuing to dominate the high end of the market. Other vendors struggled to compete, as Apple’s market share increased from 12.2% in Q2 2014 to 14.6% in the same quarter of 2015. Chinese phone makers Huawei and Xiaomi also saw increases year-over-year.
Apple continued to perform well in all markets, growing its business by 68% in China in the face of a 4% drop in total revenue in that country. “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,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.
“China is the biggest country for smartphone sales, representing 30 percent 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,” said Mr. Gupta. “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.”
Samsung’s high-end handsets continued to be challenged by Apple’s new large-screen iPhones. Samsung lost 4.3 percentage points in market share and declined 5.3% in unit sales in the second quarter of 2015.