Separately, IDC released quarterly smartphone market-share estimates. Apple was the second largest handset maker globally, behind Samsung. According to the firm, Apple volume was down 15 percent, while Samsung was up almost 6 percent. This is largely based on the strength of the Galaxy S7.
IDC confirmed what Apple said in its earnings news about the success of the lower-cost iPhone SE. “Apple did witness strong sales in both established and emerging markets thanks to the launch of the more affordable iPhone SE.”
In the just-ended quarter, Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones, representing approximately $24 billion in revenue. This “marked the lowest quarterly volume in seven quarters,” according to IDC. On a year-over-year percentage basis, sales were off most in “Greater China.”
The declines are partly about economic weakness in China. But it’s also due to other market leaders in the chart making high-quality, lower-cost smartphones. In at least one case, the OPPO R9, is a direct copy of the iPhone 6. Accordingly, the iPhone is less differentiated vs. its main Android rivals than it used to be.
According to numbers released in Q3 2015 by Google, there are more than 1.4 billion active Android users worldwide.