Smartphone sales growth sluggish as Samsung soars (survey)

Smartphone sales growth sluggish as Samsung soars (survey)

Summary: Samsung can celebrate success in the smartphone market, but overall, smartphone sales have slowed.


Despite some legal problems around the world surrounding the Galaxy S series, Samsung has found itself at the top of a number of smartphone sales lists in the last few months.

The latest one comes from market intelligence firm IDC, which found that the Seoul-based corporation has become the new leader in the worldwide smartphone market, with total smartphone shipments surpassing 20 million units for the first time ever in the company's history.

To get a better idea of the standings, check out the chart below:

However, while Samsung certainly has something to celebrate, there is a larger trend at play here, which isn't exactly very praiseworthy.

IDC found that smartphone sales growth has actually slowed down more than expected at 42.6 percent growth in Q3 2011, while IDC predicted 49.1 percent for the third quarter. It's also far lower than the 66.7 percent growth seen during the second quarter of 2011.

A major culprit here could be pricing. As discussed repeatedly during the Open Mobile Summit this week, smartphone shipments are rising worldwide and are attracting many more mobile customers away from featurephones.

Nevertheless, featurephones still have a huge chunk of the market because they're, quite simply, cheaper. The average smartphone costs $199.99 with a two-year service agreement, which entails expensive monthly costs for voice and data plans. Some mobile OEMs are challenging that bar by bringing the starting price for a smartphone up to $249.99. That's just too much for many consumers.

But another potential reason we've seen slower third quarter growth is perhaps consumers are just waiting for sale prices and discounts during the upcoming holiday season. Thus, if there is a definitely slowdown at play here, it will be better seen after the fourth quarter.

[Chart via IDC]


Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Samsung

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  • Need to keep them under $250

    That is my line. Some of these new phones sure look nice & would like to have one, but I just wilkl not pay more than $250 for one. Smartphone makers & Service providers need to work on cost & price controls. Service plans & phones are at the tipping point where the high cost is going to significantly slow the market growth.
  • RE: Smartphone sales growth sluggish as Samsung soars (survey)
  • 23 million shiptment figure for Samsung is more sane comparing earlier ...

    ... off the wall analysts' "estimation" about 27-28 million (no way Samsung had all of sudden 40% quarter-to-quarter growth from 20 million official shipments in Q2).
    • They had a 23% loss in Q3

      @DeRSSS So that 20M shipped may be mostly warehouse inventory.
  • Notice That Apple Is Having Below-Average Growth?

    I don't think people are holding off getting smartphones as such, they are simply switching from platforms like Apple, RIM and Nokia towards Android.
  • The 800 pound gorilla in the market is never mentioned,

    and that is, the stinking economy.

    In a bad economy, people will not be spending as much. That's a simple fact in economics that the analysts refuse to consider or mention.

    Furthermore, perhaps the market has been reaching saturation and growth will be very sluggish in the next few years. Not to mention that, not everybody is interested in a smartphone and an expensive wireless plan which might cost, as a combo, $1000 or more per year. Simple feature phones, like mentioned above, might be enough to satisfy most people and smartphones are overkill.
  • Samsung soars ..... with a 23% loss in Q3

  • hi

    IDC found that smartphone sales growth has actually slowed down more than expected at 42.6

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  • RE: Smartphone sales growth sluggish as Samsung soars (survey)

    Samsung are meant to be releasing a smartphone with a flexible screen next year, which could increase sales? See more at <a href="">Sell my old mobile phone</a>.