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TrendForce: Samsung remains #1 in global smartphone shipments for Q1 2016

While Samsung has shipped an impressive number of product this past period, Apple on the other hand, is facing a tough fight indeed.

Published onApril 21, 2016


Gotta getta Galaxy. This seems to be the mindset that consumers have when it comes to Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge handsets. A new report from TrendForce indicates that not only have the devices increased Samsung’s shipments over last quarter, they have also helped keep it at the top of the global smartphone market-share listing.

The report indicates global smartphone shipments in Q1 2016 were 292 million units, a fall of 1.3% from the same period last year, and 18.6% from Q4 2015. The leading cause was due to market saturation. Samsung and Apple were cited specifically for their diminished growth, as developed markets saw less shipments but developing countries were catered to by Chinese OEMs who contributed to the bottom line.

The report also mentions that total combined shipments from Chinese OEMs – exports included – from Q1 2016 totaled 125 million units. This was 42.9% of global smartphone shipments, an increase of 1.4% from last quarter.

TrendForce April 2016 A

By the numbers

The report contained some particularly bad news for Apple however as it “posted its largest quarterly decline ever for iPhone shipments, plummeting 43.8% from 75 million units in last year’s fourth quarter to just 42 million units in this first quarter.” This was due in part to lower sales of last year’s iPhone 6s models.

It raises serious questions as to the long term profit picture Apple can expect going forward. Reports have come this year that indicate Cupertino is lowering component supply orders for the time being. Just last month, it attempted to create a new market by releasing the distinctively demure iPhone SE, though with a lower price point and unknown demand, it is difficult to say what kind of effect it will have in the long-term picture.

To be fair, the Apple refreshed last year’s iPhone models in September, whereas Samsung began to ship the pair of Galaxy S7 products this past March.


Meanwhile, Samsung has been receiving substantial praise for its new Galaxies thanks to the return of water resistance and microSD support. This, coupled with a more distinctive difference between the standard S and its Edge counterpart with respect to screen size contributed to Q1 2016 shipments exceeding expectations at 81 million units, a 2.5% increase from last quarter. Contributing to this was also the earlier availability of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge – last year’s offerings didn’t hit until April – and success of the Galaxy J series in Asia.

Other OEMs like HTCand Sony did not factor into the top results, rather instead comprising part of the bottom “Others” category. LG’s G5 flagship did not release until the beginning of April which means sales and shipment data will be revealed when the second quarter closes. Likewise, the HTC10 has not yet released and therefore could not factor into the OEM’s Q1 shipments.

What’s your take on the shipment situation? Are you impressed with Chinese OEMs? Sitting strong with Samsung? Leave your comments below!