Smartphone Shipments Peaking

gartner136Gartner has new research that says Global Smartphone Sales to Only Grow 7 Per Cent in 2016 and will be the first year to see single digit percentage growth…

“The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end,”


I guess most people who want a smartphone now have one. Any changes in OS market share will be due to switching. This isn’t necessarily bad news for developers as it means that mobile platform market shares are now stable and can probably be relied on for staying so for some time.

Cross-device Optimisation

netmagazoneThis month’s net magazine (May issue to be exact) has a great article on 15 tips for cross-device optimisation. Craig Sullivan gives some rules to remember when testing cross platform.

Four insights of particular use for mobile developers…

  • Track people, not devices. Many people use their phone to find items to buy and complete the purchase on the desktop or laptop where it’s easier to checkout. Use tools such as Google Analytics user view to track the user rather than the device to gain a better appreciation of whether leads are coming via mobile or desktop.
  • Don’t ignore the wider context. Think about varying the functionality depending on the context. Craig gives the example of an airline app where what the user needs might be very different 48 hours before a flight than it is when it’s used at the gate.
  • Don’t assume everyone uses iPhones. Avoid concentrating on what happens to be your personal device. Look to user base numbers and ideally recent domain specific metrics.
  • Segment testing by device class. Different devices might look very different and might need different testing.

Mobile Market Research

I continue to occasionally update my mobile market research site. Latest additions include…

  • Worldwide Smartphone Sales Grew 9.7 Percent in Fourth Quarter of 2015
  • One in Five Tablets Sold in 4Q15 Was a Detachable
  • Winners and Losers in the Global App Economy
  • Microsoft loses out in mobility as shipments fall 9% in 2015

Please visit the site for tables, charts and links.

Winners and Losers in the Global App Economy

cariboudigitalCaribou Digital has new free research on the Winners and Losers in the Global App Economy (pdf). The report looks into who is making apps, who is making the money and in what markets by examining the top ranked apps across 37 national markets.


While the Internet and the app stores might appear to provide a level playing field for app developers, the report shows that app development and consumption is skewed towards the largest and richest economies. 95% of the estimated industry value is being captured by just the top 10 producing countries. The 19 lower-income countries earn an estimated 1% of global app economy revenues.

One of the main problems is that Google prohibits developers in many low-income countries from selling on the Play Store. It’s also more difficult than you might expect to successfully design and develop products for foreign consumers and markets.


It’s interesting that my home country, the United Kingdom ranks third in the World for developers producing the top apps. However, not all of the talent here is home grown. I have been aware for some time that an increasing number of people have moved to the UK or are trying to move to the UK to do app development.

TrendForce Smartphone Research

trendforceTrendForce has new research that shows that Samsung smartphone shipments are in decline while Chinese OEMs are making larger market share gains…


What does this mean for developers? While Samsung is still very strong, over time we will have to broaden our device testing portfolio to include more of the long tail of devices. The good news is that such devices will be less expensive than the high end Samsung devices we have been used to having to purchase in the past.

Fiksu Charts

fiksuFiksu has some pretty charts tracking Android and iOS adoption. The data comes from apps worldwide using the Fiksu SDK that are reporting in-app events. However, despite being Worldwide data, most of Fiksu’s clients are in the US and Europe.

There are lots of charts and implicit insights. For example, want to know what Android devices you need to test on? Take a look at the top Android phones:


Counterpoint on Phone Shipments

counterpointCounterpoint has a new infographic based on data from their latest Mobile Market Monitor report showing mobile handset and smartphone shipments. The report covers over 75 OEMs globally. Global phone shipments grew 4% annually. Three in four mobile phone shipped globally is smartphone.

The following chart is for smartphones and shows which OEMs and, by inference, what platforms are most popular in the various geographic regions…


Insights for Mobile Developers from Ericsson’s Mobility Report

ericssonlogoEricsson has a new free Mobility Report (pdf). Ericsson expect smartphone subscriptions to achieve 10% compound annual growth between now and 2021 while mobile data traffic will increase by 50% compound annual growth. That will be x10 increase in data traffic by 2021 mainly driven by video.

The report has an interesting section on smartphone switching patterns…

“82 percent of Android users and 73 percent of iOS users selected a smartphone with the same operating system when switching to a new device”


Note that this analysis pertains to switching trends from old to new devices, where users remain with the same operator.

As might be expected, analysis of mobile data traffic consumption on days following a device upgrade shows a significant surge in software download traffic share from app stores after a device switch.

This might give us a clue as to when promoting and marketing our app might be of most influence – when there’s a major new phone on the market or during the holiday season.