It’s weird to talk about a slump in global smartphone sales after Apple has reported another record quarter. Apple pulled in $75.9 billion in revenue and $18.4 billion in profit. That is the biggest profit of any company ever, as stated in an Engadget article by Chris Velazco. Apple reported selling 74.8 million iPhones in its first quarter results.
By comparison, Samsung widened its lead over Apply and shipped 81.3 million smartphones in the same quarter, making it the largest global smartphone manufacturer by volume.
Based on these numbers, one might conclude that all is fine and dandy in the smartphone industry. However, Apple CEO Time Cook has predicted that its next quarter will see the first ever decline in iPhone sales. Cook referred to current economic conditions as dire, largely due to declining currency values in Canada, the U.K., Brazil, and Russia.
We're seeing extreme conditions unlike anything we've experienced before just about everywhere we look
Velazco notes that both Apple and Samsung have a similar strategy – “build relentlessly in search of capturing more lighting in a bottle.” This means shipping lower and mid-range devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy A9 or Apple’s rumoured update to the iPhone 5s.
In previous years, high-end devices dominated the mobile news. But, perhaps those times are over. As good times turn to bad, an increasing percentage of users will be searching for cheaper alternatives to their flagship devices. Such economic conditions will most certainly put pressure on manufacturers to deliver innovative products at a lower price point.
It’s possible that Apple’s next “big hit” will be a budget phone.