Global smartphone sales to slow in 2018

Smartphone sales may be set to decline in 2018 after years of sustained growth, new figures have predicted.

A report from TrendForce predicts that although mobile phone shipments grew 6.5 per cent last year, 2018 may see a reduction in this rate to just five per cent.

2017's rise had been driven by a boom in smartphone production by Chinese manufacturers, the report said. 

Last year, Xiaomi recorded a 76 per cent rise in smartphone production, partly because the company improved its distribution channels and partly because it increased sales overseas. Oppo and Vivo weren’t quite so strong, the companies saw increases of 17.8 per cent and 19.5 per cent respectively, although it’s expected that there will be a decline in production this coming year.  

However this year will see the costs of components continue to rise, meaning that it’s doubtful whether sales will rise sufficiently to balance this. 

Chinese boom

Despite the rate of growth demonstrated by Chinese firms, TrendForce does predict that some non-Chinese vendors are expected to make a comeback after a couple of years in decline.

In particular, the firm predicts that iPhone sales will see an increase of 7.5 per cent, thanks to its improve Face ID technology and screen to body ratio. In addition, the company plans to increase the memory content and embed AMOLED display in two of its models, making it more attractive to customers.

Conversely, Samsung is in for a more uncertain time, despite its position as market leader. Last year, the company recorded a three per cent increase in smartphone sales, shifting 320 million units worldwide.