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Q1 Report: Smartphone Sales Up 19%; Android Slips Marginally

May 27, 2015 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

Connecticut-based information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner has released a new report which claims that smartphone sales to end-users grew 19% worldwide with 336 million units sold in Q1, 2015. This was mainly a result of high growth in emerging markets, which witnessed a 40% increase is smartphone sales, compared to Q1, 2014. The fastest growing regions were emerging Asia / Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. According to the report, Android predictably continues to dominate the OS wars and by a wide margin. However, the OS has apparently lost 1.9% of market share in terms of worldwide smartphone sales to end-users, in Q1. Apple has managed to gain marginally, from 15.3% in Q1, 2014 to 17.6% in Q1, 2015, mainly because of the success of the new-generation iPhone in China, where Apple’s iPhone sales were off the chart, recording a 72.5% year-on-year growth, helping Apple surge past Xiaomi and grab the number one slot in China for the first time. Android’s market share in the country meanwhile, diminished by as much as 4% since this time last year. The news meanwhile, remains grim for Microsoft, as Windows Phone has reportedly lost a further 0.2% of its already meager market share and the company is now registering just 2.5% of the market.

Moving away from the OS wars and looking at device manufacturers, Apple’s sales were up worldwide, and not just in China. The company sold over 60 million handsets during the quarter to occupy the number two spot among device vendors worldwide. Samsung was still ahead of rival Apple, by a good 21 million devices, even though the California-based company has closed down that gap, from over 42 million devices in Q1 of last year. This was a result of Samsung continuing to see declining sales and diminishing market share. The company’s sales went down from over 85.5 million devices in Q1 of last year to just over 81.1 million units in Q1 of this year. However, in spite of the decline year-on-year, Samsung did see growth quarter-on-quarter, with the company’s sales growing a healthy 11% from Q4, 2014. Thanks mainly to its highly acclaimed Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices.

Another important point to note, is that some of the vendors who have thus far played second fiddle to Samsung over the years have all registered growth in both sales and market share. That includes both global heavyweights like LG, Lenovo and Huawei, as well as local Chinese and Indian brands like TCL and Micromax. Speaking about the firm’s findings, Mr. Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner said, “In light of their strong smartphone sales in the emerging markets, the Indian and Chinese phone manufacturers increased their footprint during the first quarter of 2015. Six of them were in the top 10 in the first quarter of 2015”.