Smartphone shipments across the world fell for the first time ever during the first quarter of 2016, new figures have revealed.
According to data from Strategy Analytics, the number of global smartphone shipments between January and March this year came to 335 million.
This is three per cent lower than the figure recorded in the corresponding period of 2015 and the first time a year-on-year drop has been seen in the international smartphone market.
Linda Sui, a director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “Smartphone growth is slowing due to increasing penetration maturity in major markets like China and consumer caution about the future of the world economy.”
Samsung remains the market leader throughout the world, with a 24 per cent share during the first quarter of 2016.
The company shipped 79 million smartphones around the globe during this period, although this is still four per cent down on the figure for Q1 2015.
Nevertheless, Strategy Analytics said its market share is broadly unchanged, with products such as its Galaxy S7 handset and its J series models helping it perform strongly in the smartphone sector.
By contrast, Strategy Analytics believes Apple's performance throughout the quarter has been “disappointing”.
The company shipped 51.2 million smartphones across the globe between January and March – a decline of 16 per cent year-on-year.
This contributed to Apple's global smartphone market share dropping from 18 per cent to 15 per cent
Commenting on this development, executive director at Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston said: “Apple is facing iPhone fatigue and pressure is mounting for Apple to innovate a new wow design beyond its standard rectangle formfactor.”