Global smartphone sales falter

HTC smartphoneWhile sales of smartphones this year rose by 8.3 percent annually, there are clear signs that the boom times are over and the gravy train is slowing down.

A report from market research firm Trendforce predicted that 1.34 billion units will ship in 2016, and that will be an estimated 5.8 percent annual growth.

Avril Wu, Trendforce’s smartphone analyst, said: “The industry will not be able to deliver the same impressive results of the past years, when shipment increases were upwards of 30 percent. Smartphone growth is coming to a plateau.”

Even Apple will be affected by this shift, because Wu believes it will face only single digit growth in 2016. This isn’t just due to saturation, however, facing stiff competition from its rivals.

But Chinese brands will buck the trend, with shipment increases of “at least” 10 percent in 2016, said Wu. “They [the Chinese smartphone vendors] have shown themselves to be highly competitive, driving a new round of global industry restructuring as they steadily gain ground over other global brands, such as Microsoft, Sony and HTC.”