The latest analysis from the global market research firm TrendForce (www.trendforce.com) finds smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2015 grew 1.9% over the previous quarter to 304 million units. Samsung tops global shipments, while Apple is expected to maintain its high sales record with the next-generation iPhone in the second half of 2015, according to the research group.
Shipment growth in the second quarter slowed as vendors prepared to launch their flagship devices in this year’s second half. However, shipments of branded Chinese smartphones benefited from the Chinese Labor Day sales and their entries into the overseas markets. TrendForce reports the second quarter shipments of Chinese branded smartphones had an above global average growth of 15.6% with 126M units shipped.
TrendForce has also made downward revision to smartphone shipment growth for the entire 2015 from 11.6% to 8.2%. According to Avril Wu, TrendForce’s smartphone analyst, this revision is attributed to the negative global economic outlook for the second half of this year and weakening demands.
“Compared with the high 26.5% growth of 2014, this year’s smartphone shipment growth is entering a plateau period,” said Wu. “Therefore, vendors are likely to face serious challenges when shipping their products in the near future.”
Samsung has led in smartphone shipments with a second-quarter growth of 26.8%. However, Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge’s annual shipment forecast has been marked down repeatedly. TrendForce has also revised Samsung’s annual smartphone shipments downwards to 45M units this year.
As Chinese vendors are taking more shares of the low- to mid-range product market, Samsung’s ability to reverse its fortune may hinge on the success of its Galaxy Note 5. If this device is able to attract consumers with upgraded specs and new features, then Samsung will avoid the high possibility of negative shipment growth for this year.
Apple rode on the popularity of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in this year’s first half and achieved a remarkably strong shipment result in the off-peak season. The next-generation iPhone due to be launched this year offers no major changes in appearance, but Apple has given the device a new A9 processor and upgraded its memory to 2GB LPDDR4 for the first time, claims TrendForce.
These improvements along with the Force Touch module and a camera featuring a possible resolution of 12MP will give the next iPhone a huge boost. Thus, TrendForce’s iPhone shipment forecast for this year continues to be very positive with a high growth of 15% upwards.
LG’s flagship model G4 officially entered the market in the second quarter, but its sales have fallen below expectations. G4’s hardware improvements are not as exciting to the consumers compared with the upgrades made on its predecessor G3, which features a 2K display and 3GB memory. TrendForce has also revised LG’s annual shipment growth downwards to 8%.