Global smartphone shipments grew 12 percent in 2015 to a record 1.44 billion units despite a fourth quarter with the slowest growth rate of all time, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.
The report said the fourth quarter’s 6 percent year-over-year growth rate was mainly due to economic woes and increasing penetration and maturity in major markets like China.
Though profits for the company plunged in the final three months of 2015, Samsung remained dominant over competitors like Apple and Huawei in terms of total shipments and vendor market share for both the fourth quarter and the year overall.
Samsung shipped a total of 81.3 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and 319.7 million for the full year, compared to Apple’s 74.8 million and 231.5 million shipments for the quarter and year, respectively. Samsung’s year-over-year growth rate stood at 9 percent for the fourth quarter.
“This was Samsung’s fastest growth rate for almost two years and it helped Samsung to stay ahead of Apple and maintain first position with 20 percent share for the quarter and 22 percent share for the full year,” said Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston. “Samsung is widely rumored to be launching its new Galaxy S7 flagship model in the coming weeks and this should enable Samsung to consolidate its smartphone leadership.”
According to Mawston, Samsung competitor Apple will have to shift its strategy to gain ground in 2016.
“Apple shipped 74.8 million smartphones worldwide and captured 18 percent marketshare in Q4 2015, barely changed from a year earlier when it delivered 74.5 million units in Q4 2014,” Mawston said. “Apple’s iPhone growth is peaking. Apple will have to expand into new markets like India or Nigeria if it wants to reignite iPhone growth in 2016.”
Huawei trailed in third behind Samsung and Apple with 32.6 million shipments for the quarter and 107.1 million shipments for the year. However, the latter figure made Huawei the first Chinese smartphone vendor to break 100 million shipments in a single year.