KEY POINTS

  • The global smartphone market had its second-largest quarter ever in terms of shipments in Q2 2015. Shipments from all vendors grew 15% year-over-year (YoY), according to estimates from BI Intelligence. But growth is continuing to slow, especially as the US and China — powerhouse smartphone markets — reach saturation.
  • iOS has been boosted heavily by the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but Android bounced back in Q2. Android held an 83% share of global smartphone shipments in Q2, while iOS dipped to 14%. The launch of the updated line of iPhone 6 devices this holiday season could help boost Apple's smartphone share once again, but it's unlikely to see the same lift as last year.
  • Windows will be the platform to watch throughout the rest of 2015. Shipments of smartphones running the Windows Phone platform declined 11% YoY. But the company is in the middle of launching a Hail Mary comeback pass this holiday season with the cross-device Windows 10 platform and related cross-platform strategies.
  • Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the smartphone market by vendor, while Chinese manufacturers account for the vast majority of remaining shipments. Samsung and Chinese manufacturers were heavily affected by a slowing smartphone market in China in Q2 and the growing popularity of Apple devices in their key markets.
  • At the country level, the landscape can look very different from the big-picture global smartphone market. 
    • The US has one of the most developed smartphone markets globally. 77% of the total mobile installed base owned a smartphone in June. The biggest challenge for platforms and vendors in the smartphone-saturated country is declining interest in frequent upgrades.
    • The EU-5 saw an uptick in smartphone sales during Q2 2015, with much of the growth coming from low-end devices, which represented almost 50% of the smartphone sales mix. Android accounted for about 72% of smartphone sales in Q2 2015.
    • The Chinese smartphone market has finally begun to cool, with smartphone penetration expected to reach 50% this year. Overall sales fell for the first time YoY by 4% during Q2 2015, according to Gartner. Premium smartphones will become a more important segment as vendors seek to entice consumers to upgrade their phones.
    • India has yet to fulfill its promise as the future engine of smartphone sales growth, but that could change soon. Smartphones accounted for ~44% of mobile shipments in India in Q2 2015. India is expected [...]