According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, global smartphone shipments grew 2% annually in CY 2017 but declined 5% in Q4 2017. Top 10 players now capture 77% of the market thereby leaving just below a quarter of segment for over 600+ brands to compete.

Commenting on the findings, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said in a statement, “For the first time in Q4 2017, shipments of seven out of the top ten brands declined YoY signaling a tough quarter for most of the OEMs. Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo were the only brands among top ten which grew YoY–mostly due to strong performances outside of China. Apple shipped 77.3 million smartphones into the market during the final quarter of 2017, which is down 1% annually. The quarter was a week shorter than last year and the company was able to increase ASP’s by over $100 to $796 with the launch of the X, 8, and 8 Plus—a trade-off the company is content to make. The challenge for Apple going forward will be its ability to continue to grow its base of 1.3 billion devices.”

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Shipments Ranking and Market Share – Q4 2017

Counterpoint: Global Smartphone Shipments Ranking and Market Share – Q4 2017

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q4 2017

 
Commenting on regional performance during the quarter, Research Analyst Shobhit Srivastava, said in a statement, “Out of all the regions, only MEA and India grew in double digits during the quarter. However, decline in shipments in China and Europe impacted the overall smartphone market leading to a decline of 5% for the first time ever in Q4 2017. Going forward, the global smartphone market growth will be linked to the upgrade rate of users across different regions. A longer replacement cycle will mean handset brands might need to tweak their products and go to market strategy. This will eventually mean that handset brands will need to adopt a regional specific strategy to push users to upgrade faster than their current cycle.”

Source: Counterpoint Research

MacDailyNews Take: And Apple accomplished this by selling only premium smartphones, not by peddling cheap, crappy, Buy One Get Three Free glorified feature phones like Samsung et al. do in order to pad their unit shipment figures.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]