Slowing smartphone sales are spelling big trouble for the world’s most popular smartphone makers. According to the most recent figures, smartphone sales fell 6.6 percent for the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. Experts say smartphone sales have plummeted by 21.9 million handsets in the last year.
According to the reports, market leaders Apple and Samsung led all firms in sales decreases. The only major firm to see a sales increase was Chinese tech giant Huawei. However, Huawei’s future sales may be negatively impacted by sanctions issued by the United States that effectively barred its handsets from U.S. shores. The company has also been hit by the revocation of its Android license.
One of the main reasons that smartphone sales are falling is that consumers are hanging onto their handsets for longer. Gone are the days when everyone on the planet had to get their hands on the latest version of their favorite smartphone on the day of release. Today, many consumers are willing to wait for two or three generations of handsets to pass before they begin shopping for a replacement.
According to reports citing comments from consumers, a big reason why they are more willing to wait is the marginal differences between brands and handset generations. Most people use their phones for a very limited set of activities: making calls, texting, surfing the web, and taking pictures. Most handsets have been able to do these very well for many years now, leading consumers to question the value of upgrading.
Another reason that consumers put off purchasing new handsets is that the price continues to climb as handset makers add new features that few consumers will use on a regular basis. For example, the new PureView smartphone has five camera lenses which work together to take images. While this may be great for social media influencers and video makers, the average parent taking photos of their kid’s soccer practice to post on Facebook may not find the value in having five cameras instead of two.