Consumer Insights

Business Smartphones Shipments Slump

Weakening global demand is starting to show up cracks in the smartphone market, a new report has found.

Weakening global demand is starting to show cracks in the smartphone market, a new report has found.

With 110 million enterprise smartphones and tablets shipped in Q1 2016, global smartphone shipments fell 21 percent to 92.2 million units from the previous quarter. On the other hand, the global business tablet market fell 34.5 percent from Q4 2015 to 17.3 million units, according to Strategy Analytics, a business intelligence firm.

"Many enterprises withheld from investing in new deployments of smartphones in Q1 2016 and inventory built up due to large volume purchases in Q4 2015," said Gina Luk, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. "New device launches from vendors popular with enterprises, such as Apple and Microsoft, were on the horizon, meaning enterprises held off large volume purchases until official launch dates were announced."

Little hardware innovation and limited vendor portfolio were some of the other factors that played into the slowing demand, especially that of business tablets, which was found to be undergoing a downward spiral after reaching its lowest point since Q4 2013.

"Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories, such as larger smartphones/phablets, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets, has stifled enthusiasm for these devices in both BYOD and corporate-liable environments," said Andrew Brown, executive director of enterprise research at Strategy Analytics.

"In addition, Q4 2015 registered a strong quarter for business tablets, hence a soft first quarter of the year is not unusual," Brown added.

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