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« Prepping for Q4 and Full Year Smartphone Stats. Some things to look out for | Main | Nokia HMD Comeback? First Year Finishes with 8.7 Million Smartphones Shipped and 1.0% Market Share by Year-End (Updated) »

February 01, 2018


Abdul Muis


BBK also own IMO brand, which targeted at school/edu

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Oh my.

This is quite a nasty surprise for the Apple market share, given how this was supposed to be the year of the "super upgraders". Of course, one of the big reasons 2015 was such a great year for Apple, was the Chinese market. Since Apple is still beloved in China, the CNY can push maybe 10 millions extra that particular quarter. But I doubt we'll see an increase like that.

Forecast for next year does not look good though. My model puts Apple at preliminary 13.98% market share for 1.45B global sales, steadily declining each quarter. If the 1.55B for the year holds true, this declines further to 13.92%. Ouch. That's the 9th consecutive quarter with declining market share, and next year will be an "S" year - e.g. a minor upgrade to the iPhones. Thus we'll probably see a decline this coming year for Apple, maybe 210-ish millions.

Apple moving average market share for the last 16 quarters:

Q1 2014 - 15.37%
Q2 2014 - 14.83%
Q3 2014 - 14.59%
Q4 2014 - 15.48%
Q1 2015 - 16.11%
Q2 2015 - 16.45%
Q3 2015 - 16.50%
Q4 2015 - 16.12%
Q1 2016 - 15.49%
Q2 2016 - 14.95%
Q3 2016 - 14.62%
Q4 2016 - 14.54%
Q1 2017 - 14.36%
Q2 2017 - 14.27%
Q3 2017 - 14.23%
Q4 2017 - 13.98% (Preliminary)

You're welcome to put that in a graph if you need to see the trend even more clearly.

Incidentally, my linear toy model was uncanningly close to the money here, with 219.64 / 1554.96 (14.12%) market share for start of year predictions and 215.33M / 1543.39M (13.95%) for last quarterly predictions. That's a pretty good accuracy, nailing Apple and off by .74% on global in the quarterly predictions, and otoh nailing global but off by 1.74% on apple in the yearly predictions.

The power of statistics shows through, indeed... :-)

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Made a typo, meant my model predicted 1.54B global sales not 1.45B...

John A

Apple got many phones now 8 variants of iPhones or something? And yet their marketshare dropping again. Some reports points that sales of iPhone X are not as good as expected. And the reason seems the to be the price.

Will be interesting to see the future strategy for Apple in the mobile market. If it will be a cheaper model of iPhone X or something.


So, 1 million less iPhones sold in the quarter compared to last year's 14 week quarter. That's about 4% up. Not as much as many people expected but probably enough to be flat or even gain a little market share for Q4. (Comparing 13 weeks to 13 weeks!)

Agreed that iPhone's full year share will be down, but I suspect only by a fraction. Rounding up and down those percentages is simply exaggerating any perceived trend.

No idea where the Q4 growth at 5% is coming from?? Samsung is flat/down for the quarter. Huawei is down and the whole Chinese market is supposed to be significantly down. ??


The 5% growth comes from New Nokia buyers. No doubt about it.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Murphy

India, East Europe & Africa are all up. India is second largest smartphone market after China ahead of USA. As to China, I wouldn't go to 'significantly' down, rather that they are modestly down from their peak and settling to steady mature-market sales level (roughly flat).

PS Pekka LOL !!

Tomi Ahonen :-)


China via Canalys
"... This drop was partly due to China having one of its worst year-on-year performances in Q4 2017, with shipments plummeting by over 14% to just under 113 million units"

Anyway, that's old news now.

Global Smartphone Shipments Tumble 9 Percent to 400 Million in Q4 2017

Per "wertigon" Ekström

No offense Murphy, but I think you need to fact-check your sources.

If Tomi says it's 1.55B it will most probably be 1.55B, 1.50B off is unlikely - too much of a gap.


"Apple got many phones now 8 variants of iPhones or something?"

Not by any stretch can _8_ models be considered "many phones" -- especially since they were released over several years.

For comparison: Samsung and Huawei released 25 models each in 2017 alone, Alcatel 13, Sony 12.

The iPhone range is _very_ limited, a deliberate strategy of Apple.

Corrections for you

Apple sales are not down. Fiscal Q1 was only 13 weeks long compared with last year's 14. Apple sels 5.95 million iPhones per week so the right comparable number would be 83.2 million. All the Apple numbers where fantastic.

John A

@ E.Casais

I guess 8 iPhone models are nothing compared to the Samsung portfolio. But even so its a radical different approach from the Steve Jobs era when they basicly got only one model every year.
So buying a iPhone nowadays are not as simple as before. I am sure many who would bought a iPhone X instead settled with the cheaper iPhone 8 or 8 Plus with basicly same specs that was released almost at the same time.

I am not sure if Tim Cooks aproach are the right or wrong decision. But the statistic show that the marketshare for iOS on phones decline over time.


"So buying a iPhone nowadays are not as simple as before."

This has been the case since...2013.

2 new models were launched in 2013, 2014, 2015; 3 new models in 2016, 2017.

The situation is therefore not something out of the ordinary, as the number of iPhone models on offer has been slowly growing for several years.


A few thoughts:
1- they have untapped growth potential in India, but a) they missed the moment when Android comparatively sucked, so now asking for a premium for no reason will be hard and b)India seems to be more price-sensitive than most. Still, they can probably scrounge a few percent shares over there.
2- Apple must be looking at iPad for the market's reactions when they lower prices: the cheaper iPad is "only" 50-100% more expensive than a serious Android tablet, not 100-300% like phones. And iPads are mildly growing again.
3- Not Apple-specific, but I'm still expecting a switch away from expensive phones. Cheap phones in the $100-$200 range don't disappoint except with their camera, they even look and feel cool. I'm having a hard time recommending anything but a Xiaomi Redmi / Redmi Note these days. And the savings pile up now that ecosystems and content providers have family plans. Splurging $1k on one phone can happen. Spending $4k on 5 phones for the whole family does start to bite (and is the reason my iBrother switched: $150 Redmis for the kids, $400 year-old Galaxy S for him).
4- Apple is very strong in very few markets (US, UK, Japan, Teens...). That makes them vulnerable, especially if teens find a new coolness. Animojis to the rescue ^^


The quarterly and annual smartphone share figures were published just a few hours ago by both Strategy Analytics and IDC. I understand that these are the preferred sources for marketshare data.

Q4 sales crashed. Leaving the average total figure for the year a mere 1.49 B. That's less than 1% growth!

iPhone 19.2% for the quarter. That's up YoY.
iPhone 14.5% for the year. That's flat (but really it's up if last year's extra week is taken into account.)

With respect Wertigon, both you and the author of this blog suffered a bit of premature calculation. Your spreadsheet needs fixing.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi gang

Yeah we go by the big analyst houses and clearly they see that Q4 was down, and the full year up by one, down by the other. Taking their averages, Q4 is at 401.9M, down 7% vs same period one year ago. The full year ends at 1,485 million, up only 1% vs the year before. And if you round off to two digits, it is 1.49B, if you round off to one digit, it is 1.5B.

Samsung's number (by these 2 analysts) ends up at 74.3M unless we hear from Samsung itself.

The market shares then get slightly better for each of the brands.

Will do the full year and Q4 when all the data is in, of course.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

PS Per

I appreciate the trust :-)

But I was obviously off by that much this time. Sorry... :-)

But we go slavishly by the numbers, wherever they lead us...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

PS let me comment one interesting point

Previously the mobile handset market had been incredibly well performing against the world economy. The previous economic crash didn't even cause a down-turn in handset sales (2002-2003) and the last economic downturn 2008-2009 only had a modest dip. Now we don't have a global economic downturn, but handset sales have dipped (for one quarter) and on the annual level are nearly flat vs the year before. That is something that signals very strongly that we are near the upper limits of how much this industry can grow.

Now we still have the shift of the last 400 million dumbphone buyers to become smartphone buyers in the next couple of years or so, but the total upper end reach of the market seems to be a bit under 2 Billion total units (at about 1.9B right now).

So those of you who consider these things from a professional interest not just out of weird statistical obsessions haha, then yes, seems like we have arrived to the natural limit of total possible annual handset sales, and it is very likely that we won't breach 2.0B total handset sales perhaps ever, or at least not in many years to come. It changes the dynamics of the industry somewhat, vs the assumption we'd grow beyond 2.0B into the 2.2B - 2.5B type of range (based on assumptions of total unique phone owner metrics)

I'll have to think about the impacts but my gut feeling says, this means heavier price competition this year and next... And usually when the industry ends its natural growth rate, there is consolidation. Expect more mergers and acquisitions in the coming months.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

PS one more thing.

We do accept numbers from 4 analyst houses.

Am of course waiting for Canalys to see if they have a number.

But Gartner did give their smartphone count for full year 2017 at 1.558B. So taking the average of the three so far, we are at 1.51B total smartphones sold in year 2017 (up 2% vs 2016)

But as I said, we await to see if Canalys will also give us their count.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


"I'll have to think about the impacts but my gut feeling says, this means heavier price competition this year and next."

And then comes the Apple and ups their ASP to $796. xD
This is while EVERYBODY elses ASP is going DOWN!
All the other CEOs/companies are jealous to Tim Cook. He can do it, but they can´t.

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