China smartphone sales drop as market hits saturation point

Basically everyone in China now has a smartphone, and that’s why the biggest smartphone market in the world has seen its sales fall, for the first time in history.

According to a report by Gartner, Sales fell 4 per cent year-on-year during the second quarter of 2015. This has also created the slowest worldwide growth since 2013.

During the second quarter, 330 million units were sold globally.

Chinese economic uncertainty coupled with an increasingly saturated smartphone market caused the downturn, said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

"China is the biggest country for smartphone sales, representing 30 per cent of total sales of smartphones in the second quarter of 2015," he said. "China has reached saturation — its phone market is essentially driven by replacement, with fewer first-time buyers. Beyond the lower-end phone segment, the appeal of premium smartphones will be key for vendors to attract upgrades and to maintain or grow their market share in China."

Apple has seen significant growth in the market, and it has come at the expense of its South Korean competition, Samsung.

iPhone sales have increased by 36 per cent, which equals to a 2.4 per cent increase in market share. Samsung, on the other hand, has seen a decline by 5.6 per cent, which equals to 4.3 per cent loss in market share.

According to We Are Social, China now has 675 million mobile users, which equals to approximately half of its population. The country is now transforming into an upgrade market, where people only buy new devices to upgrade old ones.