According to the IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, phone companies shipped a total of 344.3 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17). In light of what might seem like a slowing market, consumers continue to show demand for smartphones and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) flagship hype seems strong as ever. Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 3.4% in 1Q17 year over year, which was slightly lower than the previous forecast of 3.6% growth.
With 85 per cent capture of the worldwide smartphone volume, Google’s operating system Android is undoubtedly the market leader.
“Despite a slew of very attractive high-end Android products, IDC continues to see Android average selling prices (ASPs) decline and expectations are that the 1.5 billion Android phones that ship in 2021 will have a collective ASP of $198, down from $220 in 2017Q1”, the report said.
“Samsung regained control as the leader in the worldwide smartphone market despite a flat first quarter (0% year over year growth). Substantial discounts on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge helped move last year's flagships as they make way for the new S8 and S8+. Outside of the high end, the product mix continues to shift toward more affordable models”, the report said. An early positive response to the recently launched S8 and S8+ looks promising as it may have finally put Samsung's Note 7 fiasco to bed.
Coming off the first year in which iPhone shipments declined, expectations are that 2017 volumes will grow 3.8%. IDC slightly lowered its 2017 projections for iOS in its latest forecast to 223.6 million, while increasing its 2018 volumes to 240.4 million. All signs point to late 2017 and certainly, 2018 being very strong for Apple as much of its installed base seems ready for a refresh and the next round of iPhones is not likely to disappoint its fans.
Apple dropped slightly with shipments reaching 50.7 million units in the first quarter, down from the 51.2 million shipped in Q1 last year.
According to the report, Windows Phone shipments continue to fall as the lack of new hardware partners, developer support, and overall enthusiasm for the platform show no immediate signs of recovery. IDC expects 2017 volumes to decline 80.9% to just 1.1 million units. Microsoft has yet to fully commit to any "Surface"-style attack for smartphones or to push new vendors to embrace the platform, leaving little hope of mounting a full scaled comeback in the years to come.