2015 may not be the most revolutionary year in smartphones, but it certainly saw the highest sales. According to Strategy Analytics, the year saw 1.4 billion smartphones being shipped, an increase of 12 percent over 2014.
However, the last quarter also saw the slowest sales growth of all time, standing as just 6 percent as markets become saturated with phones with potential customers already having one.
As expected, Samsung continues to lead the pack with 319.7 million units in sales, with 81.3 million in sales last quarter alone. Apple fared not that badly either at 231.5 million units in sales, though, it sales barely increased over the past year to just 74.8 million in Q4.
Usually the conversation in the smartphone market revolves around Samsung and Apple, but Huawei’s strong showing for both the quarter and the year speak to how much it has grown as an international brand.
“While there is a lot of uncertainty around the economic slowdown in China, Huawei is one of the few brands from China that has successfully diversified worldwide.” Melissa Chau, IDC
It is Huawei however which made the most of the year, with a huge 37 percent increase over 2014, taking it to 108 million in sales. It also becomes just the fourth company after Apple, Samsung and Nokia to hit the symbolic 100 million figure. On the basis of these strong sales, it is now in a good position to maintain no. 3 in 2016, too.
Lenovo-Motorola sort of fades away with 18 percent lesser sales year-on-year despite tapping new markets with a wide variety. Its partnership with Motorola hasn’t borne any visible fruits as of yet. Xiaomi, the ultimate underdog stands at fifth with sales of 72 million, up from 61.1 million a year ago.
All of these companies however experienced slowing sales towards the end of the year, a trend which is likely to continue the next year, which might mean that the smartphone market is about to peak very soon.