Global market research firm TrendForce reports that the worldwide smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2016 totaled 292 million units, down 18.6% from the previous quarter and a year-on-year decline of 1.3%. The decrease was mainly attributed to market saturation. Leading brands such as Samsung and Apple no longer have the same growth momentum as before, so the overall shipments depended on contributions from Chinese brands and rising demand in India and other emerging markets.
After experiencing decline in end market demand last year, consumer electronics vendors now attempt to improve their profitability via differentiation. The PC gaming market is currently one of the niche segments that have huge opportunities. Thus, an increasing number of electronics brands are aggressively establishing themselves in the gaming PC hardware market. Part of their motivation comes from the rise of VR devices, which are expected to generate demand for new and better hardware.
The global smartphone demand has been stagnant since the fourth quarter of 2015. All branded vendors therefore have lowered their shipment targets, and the entire market spent about three months on channel inventory digest. Avril Wu, smartphone analyst for the global market research firm TrendForce, said the stock up of Chinese branded smartphones started to pick up in the middle of February, as the inventory adjustment period came to an end.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), the mobile payment industry took another significant step in progress with the reveal of several cross-device payment services. Visa, for example, announced that it has partnered up with smartwatch maker Pebble and auto giant Honda to bring Visa’s payment services into cars and wearable devices.
Global notebook shipments dropped significantly in 2015 mainly due to the impact of currency depreciation on the demand in Europe and the emerging markets, such as Latin America. The release of Windows 10 in the third quarter and Skylake CPU in the fourth also influenced consumers’ decision making and delayed notebook purchases.