For the first time ever, Gartner is reporting a decrease in worldwide smartphone sales. (Other analyst firms have previously reported such declines.) For the fourth quarter of 2017, manufacturers shipped around 408 million units, about 5.6 percent less than during the same quarter in 2016.
Samsung saw a 3.6 percent drop in sales during the period, while Apple experienced a 5 percent drop. For the year, Samsung captured 20.9 percent of the global market, while Apple had 14.0 percent of sales. Gartner expects both companies to see sales increases in the first quarter of 2018.
Gartner blames the decrease in overall sales on customers who are keeping their current phones for longer, and a lack of good, cheap phones to entice the few remaining holdouts to upgrade to smartphones from their feature phones.