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Emerging Markets Drove Worldwide Smartphone Sales to 19 Percent Growth in First Quarter of 2015, Gartner

Bangalore: Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users reached 336 million units, an increase of 19.3 percent during the first quarter of 2015. According to Gartner, Inc, due to these high-performing regions, the emerging markets achieved a 40 percent increase in sales during the first quarter of 2015. The growth was led by strong smartphone sales in emerging markets including the fastest growing regions of Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa including China.

Speaking about the emerging market, Anshul Gupta, Research Director, Gartner says, “During this quarter, local brands and Chinese vendors came out as the key winners in emerging markets. These vendors recorded an average growth of 73 percent in smartphone sales and saw their combined share go up from 38 percent to 47 percent during the first quarter of 2015”.

On the other hand, the world’s second largest information technology company - Apple became the No. 1 Smartphone Vendor in China for the first time as Apple continued to exhibit a strong performance in this quarter. IPhone sales were up 72.5 percent during the first quarter of 2015. Greater China also became Apple’s largest volume market, ahead of North America.

“Apple’s extension into more Asian markets helped it close the gap with Samsung globally. In the same period last year, there was a difference of more than 40 million units with Samsung; this difference has been halved, within one year, to just over 20 million units,” says Gupta.

According to the research done by Gartner, Samsung continued to see a decline in sales and share during the first quarter of 2015. However, on the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android’s share fell by 1.9 percentage points, while iOS grew year-on-year for the third consecutive quarter. However, worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 460.3 million units during the first quarter of 2015, a 2.5 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

Roberta Cozza, Research Director, Gartner says, “Strong iPhone sales in China during the first quarter of 2015 had an impact on Android's performance in that country. Android’s volumes fell by 4 percent year-on-year in China for the first time”.
“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," adds Gupta.

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