Smartphone Sales Just Fell for the First Time Ever (Premium)

With Gartner and IDC now both weighing in on smartphone marketshare in 2017, we are confronted by a troubling, if long-awaited milestone. Smartphone sales actually fell in the final quarter of 2017. That's a first.

Worse, smartphone sales for calendar year 2017 almost fell year-over-year as well.

Before considering what this means, let's look at the numbers. As I do with PC sales, these numbers are an average of figures provided by both Gartner and IDC.

In 2017, hardware makers sold 1.5 billion smartphones worldwide. This compares to 1.48 billion in 2016, a gain of just 1.4 percent. As a reference point, I consider any sales difference that can round to 1 percent to be "flat."

Smartphone sales leveling off year-over-year is a troubling trend, but a bigger milestone happe...

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