Worldwide Shipments of Smartphones Fall

The global market for smartphones experienced its first decline year on year during the first quarter of 2016, with both Samsung and Apple shipping fewer handsets, according to an online research company.

Global shipments of smartphones were lower by 3% annually from 345 million to 334.5 million units during the first three months of 2016.

The drop is attributed to a decline in smartphone growth due to growing saturation in the biggest markets such as China and caution by the consumer about the world’s economy.

On Tuesday, Apple reported that its smartphones sales worldwide had dropped 16% to just over 51.2 million units during its March 26 ending fiscal second quarter.

The company experienced a decline in its revenue year on year of 26% from the Greater China regions, its second biggest market.

The drop in revenue for mainland China reached 11%.

The problems with the company could be even deeper, as it is coming up against the ennui, according to analysts.

Apple is up against iPhone fatigue and the pressure is growing for the business to make some wow innovation designs that are beyond its regular rectangle form factor, said one industry analyst.

Samsung the biggest rival to Apple shipped over 79 million smartphones during the first three months of 2016, which was down 4% from its 82.7 million for the first quarter last year, said research firm Strategy Analytics.

Market share of Samsung contracted slightly from 24% to 23.6% for the same period one year ago.

At the same time, the share for Apple declined from 17.7% to 15.3%.

Samsung reported on Wednesday that while the demand for both the tablet and smartphone saw slight decreases quarter on quarter, due to some seasonal effects, the overall profit from operations for its division of Mobile and IT Communications increased.

The revenue from that division also increased year on year by 6.6%. The company does not provide a break out of smartphone sales by product.

The new Samsung Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge sold very well in March, while its less expensive phones in the J-series did well in the emerging markets.

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