THE END IS (SURELY) NIGH for Windows Phone and BlackBerry's handset business after new data showed that the two platforms accounted for a paltry 2.3 million sales in Q2 between them.
Gartner reported that Windows Phone’s slide into irrelevancy is almost complete as it slumped from 2.5 per cent of the market in Q2 2015 to 0.6 in 2016, with just 1.9 million phones sold. Low as it is, it shows there are still a few Kevins out there.
BlackBerry fared even worse, selling just 400,000 handsets, giving it just 0.1 per cent of the market. Let's remember, BlackBerry used to be the darling of the phone world. How times change.
BlackBerry continues to issue new phones, although it's not entirely clear why as even if sales doubled, it would amount to only 800,000 handsets, which can hardly be worth the cost of designing, building, selling, marketing and so on. Oh well.
Microsoft has at least seen the folly of its mobile ambitions and all but given up on the market, with job cuts aplenty the unpleasant outcome of this decision.
Meanwhile, at the top it was also a lacklustre period for Apple. Its share of the smartphone market fell from 14.6 per cent in Q2 2015 to 12.9 per cent, as sales declined from 44.395 million iPhones to 48,085 million.
This came despite global smartphone sales rising from 330 million to 344 million. Apple will no doubt hope that the iPhone 7, expected in September, will help the firm to rebound in the market.
Leading the field is Samsung after selling 76 million smartphones, an increase on 72 million in the same period last year. This gave the company a 22.3 per cent share of the market, a slight increase from 21.8 per cent in the same period last year.
Anshul Gupta, a research director at Gartner, explained that the decline for Apple was down to buyers holding off on new devices as new models are just around the corner.
"Demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year," he said.
The biggest increase was for little-known firm Oppo, which sold 18 million phones and saw its market share more than double from 2.4 to 5.4 per cent.
"Features such as an anti-shake camera optimised for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditised smartphone market," added Gupta.
The boost for Samsung helped Android to increase its dominance of the market to 86.2 per cent, up from 82.2 per cent in Q2 2015.
Roberta Cozza, a research director at Gartner, said that Google’s ongoing development of Android is helping its ecosystem partners to push boundaries with their phones,
"Google is evolving the Android platform fast, which allows Android players to remain at the cutting edge of smartphone technology," she said.
"Facing a highly commoditised smartphone market, Google's focus is to further expand and diversify the Android platform with additional functionalities, like virtual reality, enabling more intelligent experiences and a reach into wearables, connected home devices, in-car entertainment and TV." µ
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