Gartner’s smartphone sales report for Q2 2014 is out and it paints a bleak picture for smartphone sales in the future.
Growth hasn’t been this slow since Q2 2013 — the year the iPhone 5s was released — when 225 million smartphones were sold, surpassing sales of feature phones for the first time.
This time around, sales grew just 13.5 percent over last year. What’s more interesting is that 96.8 percent of smartphone sales are now made up by iOS and Android devices, leaving just 3.2 percent for others like Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Firefox OS.
Notably, China is driving the majority of smartphone sales in 2015, making up 30 percent of sales this quarter but Gartner notes that China has “reached saturation” and is to blame for overall sales slowing.
We might be reaching the very middle of the sales curve and seeing a point where the constantly growing industry finally reaches its peak and slows as it becomes harder to reach those who don’t already own a smartphone.
The saddest story in the figures is the breakdown of phone by operating system. BlackBerry now makes up just 0.7 percent quarter’s smartphones sales, compared to Android’s whopping 83.8 percent.
Back in Q2 2013 BlackBerry had 5.2 percent of smartphone sales trailing Nokia’s Symbian on 5.9 percent.
Android’s size continues to be staggering: it controlled over 83 percent of smartphone sales last quarter despite many of its hardware partners struggling to create phones people actually want to buy.
It paints an even more contentious picture for the third-place mobile operating system, Windows Phone, which was only able to grab just 2.6 percent of sales overall last quarter.
In part, Microsoft’s recent strategy adjustments could be to blame: it’s backed further away from the phone platform, discouraging potential customers from investing in it with a lack of a flagship phone, the write off of the Nokia purchase and the delay of Windows 10 for phones.
Smartphone sales look very different from just two years ago, when Microsoft’s sales were surging and Nokia’s home-grown operating system was still on the list.
There are a number of different smartphone reports out there, like IDC’s quarterly one, which can conflict with each other though the reports all paint a future where Android leaves every other mobile platform in the dust.
➤ Gartner Q2 Worldwide Smartphone Sales [Gartner]