Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 20th 2015 Contents AUGUST 20 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
TECHNOLOGY | BG17
The global smartphone market
experienced a strong second
quarter, due in large part to
greater demand for high-end
smartphones like Apple s
iPhone 6 and Samsung s
Galaxy S6 line, according to new sales data.
German research firm GfK reported that
total smartphone unit sales worldwide rose
five per cent to 302.1 million units in the
second quarter of 2015.
Smartphone vendors benefitted from this
uptick, raking in US$92.4 billion during the
second quarter, up from US$86 billion during
the same period in 2014.
In North America during the three months
ended in June, the number of smartphones
sold rose 10 per cent to 44.4 million. Dollar
sales during the same period increased 19 per
cent to US$18.2 billion from the US$15.4 billion
that was rung up during the prior year s second
quarter. Over in Europe things were not as
rosy in Q2.
The number of smartphones sold in Europe
rose three per cent from 14.7 million in the
2014 second quarter, to 15.2 million. However,
in dollar terms, sales declined 15 per cent to
US$3.2 billion from US$3.7 billion.
In every other market around the world
smartphone unit sales grew in the second
quarter; most notably the Middle East and
Africa, where smartphone sales jumped 24
per cent, according to GfK.
In China, however, the opposite occurred.
Unit sales in China were down 10 per cent to
88.7 million units in the quarter, while sales
rose in dollar terms by 17 per cent to US$26.8
billion. The figures reflect the Chinese market s
increasing desire to buy fewer, but pricier,
Mobile price polarisation
The GfK data reveals a troubling quarter
for companies offering devices in the midrange
of the market at prices between US$250 and
US$500. In the two biggest smartphone mar-
kets, North America and China, consumers
were most interested in higher-end smart-
phones that cost US$500 or more. In China,
high-end smartphones now account for 17
per cent of the US$26.8 billion China market,
up from 10 per cent last year. In the US, low-
end handsets that cost up to US$250 also
proved popular among consumers.
"We see a price polarisation as sales of high-
and low-end devices grew at the expense of
midranged devices," GfK wrote in a statement
detailing the North America market in the
"Smartphones in the high end captured 43
per cent of smartphone unit share in Q2 2015,
up from 38 per cent in Q2 2014."
Flagships and low-end devices rule
The findings confirm a trend in the smart-
phone space where consumers continue to
gravitate to products that are either at the
high-end, flagship level of the market or those
that come in at a low price point.
Apple and Samsung, the two global market
leaders in the smartphone space, have secured
their market dominance largely around their
In July, research firm IDC reported that
Samsung secured 21.7 per cent of the global
smartphone market in the second quarter on
73.2 million unit shipments. Apple s 14.1 per
cent market share on 47.5 million shipments
put the iPhone maker in second place.
The success of the mobile manufacturing
giants has created space for other companies,
such as Blu, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo to
succeed by offering lesser-featured devices at
"The overall growth of the smartphone mar-
ket was not only driven by the success of pre-
mium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple,
and others, but more importantly by the abun-
dance of affordable handsets that continue to
drive shipments in many key markets," IDC
research manager Anthony Scarsella said in a
statement last month accompanying his com-
pany s own report on the second-quarter
China-based Huawei, which sells a range
of smartphones, was in third place with 8.9
per cent market share. Its fellow China-based
companies, Xiaomi and Lenovo, took fourth
and fifth place, respectively.
Mobile apps opportunity
Looking ahead, GfK said it expects 2015 to
be a banner year for the smartphone market.
The research firm predicts worldwide smart-
phone sales volume will hit the US$400 billion
mark, up five per cent compared to the same
period last year.
With the rising demand for smartphones
and other smart mobile devices such as tablets
and wearables globally, the mobile applications
market is expected to grow exponentially over
the coming years. The demand for mobile
application will also driven by the rising pen-
etration of Internet based services across the
As consumers and businesses acquire more
powerful and more connected devices, there
is tremendous opportunities for software devel-
opers and entrepreneurs to ride the rising tide.
Mobile apps drive mobile device sales by adding
tangible value to the user experience.
In particular, applications that meet the
peculiar needs of local markets and local audi-
ences, such as shopping, news, games, access
to government services, lookup and directory
These local applications need local app
developers with the competence, creativity
and confidence to create mobile experiences
that can meet local needs, while serving a
Bevil Wooding is an internet strategist
at Packet Clearing House, a US-based tech-
nology research firm.
He is also and chief knowledge officer
at Congress WBN (C-WBN) a faith-based
international non-profit organisation and
is responsible for C-WBN's technology edu-
cation and outreach initiatives. Twitter:
Smartphone sales get Q2 boost
...spells opportunity for app developers
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