Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 4.3% in first quarter of 2017, which was slightly higher than previous forecast of 3.6% growth, said research firm IDC. According to preliminary results from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, phone companies shipped a total of 347.4 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2017. IDC said, consumers continue to show demand for smartphones and OEM flagship hype seems strong as ever.
“The first quarter smartphone results further prove that the smartphone industry is not dead and that growth still exists,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president, IDC. “There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year for the industry as growth dipped to low single digits for the first time.”
“However, we believe the industry will show some rebound in 2017, and the strong first quarter results certainly support this argument. In addition to what shipped in 1Q17, big flagship announcements from Huawei with the P10 devices and Samsung with the Galaxy S8 devices show that innovation is still possible. And despite any formal announcements from Apple it is safe to say the industry is highly anticipating what comes from this year's iPhone announcements,” he added.
According to IDC, first quarter growth came from a handful of Chinese OEMs. “The clear leaders are Huawei, OPPO, and vivo, which have all well outpaced market growth for over a year now. And as these companies gain share in new territories the potential to continue this trend is high,” said IDC.
“Although we have seen an abundance of premium redesigned flagships that just entered the market, moving forward, we still expect most of the growth to come from more affordable models in a variety of markets” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC.
“Despite all the popularity and media hype around premium devices, we continue to witness a shift in many companies' portfolios geared towards affordable devices with premium-type styling compared to flagship models. Companies have started to implement a single premium design language that ultimately blurs the lines between the high-end and the low-end, allowing the average consumer to jump on the brand without a hefty upfront investment, he added.