• Xiaomi displaces Vivo to become a top 5 smartphone vendors.
  • For the first time ever, the global smartphone market shrunk by 0.1% according to IDC.
  • Both China and the US saw a 6.3% YoY drop in total shipment volume.

IDC has put out figures for worldwide smartphone shipments in 2017. The numbers put Xiaomi in the list of top 5 smartphone vendors for 2017, ahead of Vivo and behind Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and OPPO.

Xiaomi, currently valued at around $100 billion, rose through the ranks by shipping 92.4 million units, a 74.5% spike over the previous year. The global market remained consolidated among the top 5 vendors even as all others dropped by 11.7%.

While all is well with Xiaomi, the IDC report states that global smartphone shipments have gone down for the first time by 0.1% to 1.47 billion. The last quarter showed a 6.3% year-on-year decline in total smartphone shipment volume in both China and the United States, as many consumers deferred their upgrade plans. The report also states that Apple shipped more phones than Samsung in Q4 2017, despite the iPhone X getting a lukewarm reception.

Of course, there will be differences in numbers between research firms depending on the metric employed for calculation. Data from Strategy Analytics for example, indicated a 1% rise in global smartphone shipments, as opposed t0 IDC’s 0.1% shrinkage. Strategy Analytics also showed a 9% YoY reduction in smartphone shipments in China and the US, against IDC’s 6.3% YoY figures.

The drop in smartphone shipments could be due to consumers choosing to retain their devices over a longer period of time. The dip in numbers was not drastic, as Chinese OEMs helped flood the market with devices catering to just about every budget. With flagships now breaching the $1,000 mark, consumers often find it not worth the hassle to upgrade their handsets every year.

The fall in numbers, albeit small, is still significant considering the number of smartphone users across the globe. Currently, there appears to be a stagnancy in terms of innovation in the smartphone space. If OEMs can innovate enough to warrant a purchase, then surely consumers would not mind upgrading to newer devices at a regular cadence.

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