Global smartphone market shrank annually for first time in first quarter: Strategy Analytics

Visitors check their smartphones at the world's biggest computer and software fair CeBit in Hanover, Germany, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Nigel Treblin

SEOUL (Reuters) - Global shipments of smartphones shrank 3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier in the market’s first year-on-year contraction on record, researcher Strategy Analytics said on Thursday, reflecting growing strains on the industry.

Strategy Analytics said in a statement January-March shipments fell to 334.6 million devices from 345 million in the same period a year earlier, as major markets such as China matured and concerns about the global economy weighed on consumer sentiment. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd remained the world’s top smartphone maker, but saw shipments fall by 4.5 percent to 79 million, Strategy Analytics said. The firm’s market share dipped slightly, to 23.6 percent from 24 percent a year earlier.

Apple Inc remained in second place, but saw shipments fall 16 percent to 51.2 million from a year earlier as Strategy Analytics cited what it called “iPhone fatigue”. Apple’s market share dropped to 15.3 percent from 17.7 percent a year earlier, the researcher said.

Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell