The smartphone industry has seen merely two percent increase in sales during the first quarter of 2016, hinting that the market growth is beginning to slow down.
The total number of smartphones shipped during the first quarter is only 334.9 million, marking the smallest year-over-year growth recorded. This number reveals that the insane growth of the smartphone sales has finally come to an end.
Wired reported that even Apple, which is considered to have growing sales of smartphones, saw a drop in the first-quarter sales in its iPhones by 16 percent as compared to the same quarter of last year. This is also a first for the Apple's iPhones since its first release in 2007.
One of the major reasons why this is now the new normal for the smartphone industry is this: everyone already has a good-enough, high-quality smartphone. Meaning to say, the need for upgrading is not so high as compared to that of the previous years.
With this realization, smartphone makers are faced with a tougher competition. For instance, Samsung has emerged to be the strongest maker with 81.9 million smartphone shipping last quarter. This number is equal to that of Apple and Huawei's shipping combined, according to IDC's latest report.
According to Wired, Samsung has maintained its top spot because the "South Korean company offers wide-ranging choice-essentially, a phone for everyone, from entry level to super-premium," targeting both emerging and established markets.
However, this might not always be the case as China's Oppo Electronics and Vivo are paving its way to the top smartphone vendors, even overtaking Lenovo and Xiaomi.
It is too early to tell, however, where the road for these Chinese brands, as well as for the smartphone industry as a whole, is headed. "This dynamic smartphone landscape has shown to even cult brands like Xiaomi that customer loyalty is difficult to consistently maintain," IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau said.