Apple’s share of the smartphone market declined in the second quarter of 2016 to 12.9 per cent, even though global smartphone sales increased.
Data from Gartner showed that Apple sold 44.39 million iPhones in the second quarter, compared with 48.08 million in the same period in 2015, reflecting a market share decline from 14.6 per cent to 12.9 per cent.
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.
Windows Phone’s slide into irrelevancy continued with a slump from 2.5 per cent to 0.6 per cent, selling just 1.9 million phones in the quarter. BlackBerry also fared very poorly, shifting just 400 million handsets to give the firm a 0.1 per cent share of the market.
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."
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