While the news had been predicted by soothsayers from IDC as early as February, actual numbers are now starting to come in. Shipments declined by 0.5 percent which might not sound like much but is rather significant statistically.
In 2016, shipments were lukewarm at two percent yearly growth, but this downturn is significant.
Among smartphone shipments, Android and iOS have all but completely pushed out every other mobile operating system. And despite the growing price of today's top flagship devices, the average selling price of a smartphone has steadily fallen over the years. As more of the world now own smartphones, growth has stalled. Similarly, internet user growth has only grown seven percent in 2017, compared to 12 percent in 2016.
Despite moves by Apple to inflate the price by making people pay more for less, the average selling price of a smartphone has steadily fallen. More people are accessing the internet than ever, on an average of 5.9 hours a day. And they're browsing on mobile, indicating that they're just holding onto older models of phones instead of buying new ones.
Basically, it is a product which has run out of steam as no one can think of anything new to do with it. All the phones look pretty much the same and do the same things. Consumers can't be bothered buying new phones when they all look similar and the market is saturated with used phones in good condition. Smartphone companies can only differentiate themselves right now by advertising, which is a hiding to nowhere.