“After years of rampant growth, the global smartphone market is slowing down as consumers wait for the next game-changing feature,” Robert Fenner reports for Bloomberg. “That is bad news for the giants of the technology industry, including Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., as well as the crop of Chinese challengers that includes Xiaomi Corp., Oppo, Vivo and Huawei Technologies Co. ”

“While Apple Inc. didn’t invent the smartphone, it certainly sparked the modern era of web-connected devices with the very first iPhone in 2007. The next year, the first device powered by Android made its debut and the era of rapid growth was ushered in,” Fenner reports. “The number of smartphones shipped in 2013 surged 40 percent from the year before, according to IDC data. In 2014, annual growth slowed to 28 percent. Last year showed the first contraction on record, with the market shrinking by 2.5 percent, in large part because of reduced shipments in China.”

MacDailyNews Note: Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

And, here’s what cellphones looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

cellphones before and after Apple iPhone

“After years of breakneck growth, most Chinese have a smartphone now, which means there isn’t a vast pool of untapped demand.,” Fenner reports. “Same in western countries, where smartphones have reached saturation levels. While there are still a core of users who will line up every September for the newest iPhone, many more are happy to stick with their handset until it stops working.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As Fenner notes, the rollout of 5G will spur the next wave of demand, but do not discount this year’s crop of iPhones as they will all reportedly eschew the antiquated Home button, moving to iPhone X’s superior gesture-based modes of iOS operation, and usher in a wave of upgrades for Apple in the process.

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