Apple suffers first decline in global iPhone sales

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The latest figures from Gartner show the manufacturer came behind first-placed Samsung for Q4 2015 market share

Apple has suffered its first ever drop in global smartphone sales, according to the latest market share figures from Gartner.

Q4 last year saw Apple sell over 71 million units (17.7 per cent market share) – a decline from the 74 million devices (20.4 per cent) it sold in Q4 the previous year. The California-based manufacturer came behind first-placed Samsung, who sold over 83 million units (20.7 per cent) in Q4 2015 – an increase from the 73 million units (19.9 per cent) shipped in Q4 2014.

Despite the decline, Apple’s total market share for the year increased. 2015 saw the number of handsets shipped hit over 225 million (15.9 per cent) – an increase from 191 million (15.4 per cent) shipped in Q4 the previous year. Despite Samsung being the top manufacturer in all of 2015, handset shipments declined. Samsung sold 320 million devices (22.5 per cent) – a decline from 307 million units (24.7 per cent) in 2014. Total smartphone sales for 2015 totalled 1.4 billion – an increase from 1.2 billion in the previous year.

Following behind Apple and Samsung for 2015’s entirety was Huawei (7.3 per cent), Lenovo and Motorola (5.1 per cent and Xiaomi (4.6 per cent).

Gartner research director Anshul Gupta claimed the year saw growing demand for more affordable handsets. He said: “Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors. An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.”

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