Fewer people are upgrading their smartphones


It seems global consumers are wising up when it comes to upgrading their smartphones.

Smartphone makers saw the first quarterly decline in the last three months of 2017, compared with year-earlier figures.

“Global smartphone shipments declined by 9 percent, from 438.7 million units in Q4 2016 to 400.2 million in Q4 2017. It was the biggest annual fall in smartphone history,” according to Linda Sui, director at researcher Strategy Analytics.

Last year’s holiday shopping quarter saw Apple offer two new models — the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X — but the company could not increase sales.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple sales were down 1 percent compared with the same period of 2016, Sui said.

Sui added that the reasons for the decline were longer replacement waits, fewer operator subsidies and “a general lack of wow models.”

Sui said a big part of the falloff was due to “a collapse” in the huge China market. There, she added, demand fell by 16 percent last year.

Industry observers have noted that in recent years the pace of global growth has been slowing. They cite maturing markets and consumers becoming less inclined to chuck their old phones in favor of pricey new products.

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