GfK says global smartphone market is still growing

Market tracker GfK, which derives its data from point-of-sale terminals, reckons the smartphone market grew by 6% in Q1 2016.

This conclusion is in stark contrast to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, which derives its data from vendor shipment numbers, and which concluded the market declined by three percent annually in the first quarter of this year. According to GfK many regions did decline, but growth was maintained largely by China, which sold 19% more smartphones in Q1 2016 than in the year-ago quarter, thanks to continued strong demand for 4G phones.

“Quarter one shows continued smartphone growth, however, we are seeing a slowdown in growth rates when we compare year-on-year performance,” said Kevin Walsh of GfK. “As a result, we have downgraded our 2016 growth forecast to five percent year-on-year. Operators and manufacturers are responding with a variety of strategies in the different regions, such as increased marketing activity and subsidies.”

“The connected consumer is evolving from connectivity to complete and seamless integration with technology,” said Arndt Polifke of GfK. “For smartphones, there is still growth to come from connectivity, especially in the emerging markets. Already though, we are seeing how the next wave of growth from wearables, virtual reality and smart home can be complementary to smartphone growth in 2016 and beyond.”

Here are the data tables.

GfK Q1 2016 table 1


GfK Q1 2016 table 2



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