Johannesburg - Samsung and Huawei are gaining ascendency while Apple is retreating - this is the assessment from research firm Gartner on its latest global smartphone sales figures.
Gartner on Thursday released worldwide smartphone sales numbers for the fourth quarter of 2015.
The research points to the segment’s slowest growth since 2008 as smartphone sales topped 403 million units during the period, marking a 9.7% increase compared to the same period in 2014.
Meanwhile, for the whole of 2015, smartphone sales topped 1.4 billion units - a 14.4% increase from 2014, according to Gartner.
“In the fourth quarter of 2015, Samsung and Huawei were the only two top-five smartphone vendors to increase their sales to end users,” said Gartner in a statement.
“Apple suffered its first decline in sales of smartphones — iPhone sales were down 4.4%,” said the research house.
Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, also weighed in with views on the latest figures.
“Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors,” said Gupta.
“An aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the mid-range and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones,” Gupta added.
Below are Gartner’s fourth quarter statistics for 2015 with the world's five top selling smartphone brands listed:
2015 Market Share (%)
2014 Market Share (%)
Lenovo (which includes Motorola)