The mobile phone has come a long way over the past few years and it represents one of the industries that has experienced super-fast advancements. A comparison between a phone made in 2008 and a 2018 phone easily demonstrates just how far the cellphone industry has come.
Smartphones have basically dominated the market, making the smartphone industry a powerful force that has shaped the direction of other major industries such as the content streaming and advertising industry. They have also been a major ingredient in the growth of social media companies such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Web developers have even had to prioritize on mobile friendliness because most people access the internet through their smartphones.
Billions of people all over the world use smartphones and this means they can access the internet on the go. The first smartphone was launched in 2008 and it featured the Android OS. However, mobile technology has advanced so much over the years compared to the cell phones of yore and they keep getting more powerful. For example, some phones being launched in today’s market feature RAM size similar to that of computers and the processors allow them to run at a snappy pace even while multitasking.
Apple has for a long time been holding the crown for the best smartphone with the iPhone although it has been facing a lot of competition lately especially from Samsung and Xiaomi among others. Over the past two years, Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo have been the dominant players and even more interesting is that the last three are Chinese. This demonstrates China’s momentum in the consumer electronics market, and particularly the smartphone market.
Samsung overtook Apple in terms of market share and shipments in Q1 of 2017 after narrowing the gap in the previous quarter. The South Korean manufacturer maintained the lead in the second and third quarter although Apple regained the lead in the fourth quarter. The smartphone market seems to be driven a lot by consumer preference. For example, consumers are currently shifting towards handsets with less bezels and more powerful cameras. This would explain why Samsung’s latest flagships have been doing so well. However, Apple’s hefty pricing for the iPhone X plus the controversial notch seems to be a dangerous combination that has not appealed to the market.
The smartphone industry seems to be running on all cylinders but analysts claim that things are slowing down. For example, China which is one of the biggest handset markets has been experiencing a decline in the demand for handsets within the first quarter of 2018. The demand for handsets in China tanked by 21 percent in Q1 of this year compared to Q1 of 2017.
The shipments and sales will most likely kick into high gear with the launch of new models as well as the holiday season. However, it is clear that key players such as Samsung and Apple are in trouble because Chinese manufacturers have gotten so good at making premium devices that are appealing to the market.