According to tech research firm Gartner, smartphone sales dropped 5.6% (to 408m units) in Q4 of 2017 from the year prior — the first-ever slide for the popular human plaything.
Samsung kept their place as king of the cell, even as their sales fell 3.6%, with Apple right behind reporting a 5% drop (in large part due to the consumer revolt against the pricey new iPhone X).
Why is this happening?
Gartner analysts attribute the sales drop to 2 main factors: One of them is the growing reluctance of “feature phone” users (think the Motorola Razr) to upgrade to smartphones due to a lack of cheap, quality smartphones.
Meanwhile, existing smartphone owners are keeping their current models longer — despite Apple admitting their software updates gradually make your phone slower.
Dumbphones on the rise
In Africa, “feature phones,” AKA dumbphones, have made a substantial comeback — In 2017, their market share rose to 61%, up from 55.4% the year earlier, while smartphone market share fell to 39%, according to the IDC.
They’ve also slowly made their way back to the West, with “nostalgiaphiles” showing a new excitement for smaller, simpler technology like the days of paying 10 cents per text — where our Snake fans at??
Last year, Nokia even revamped their iconic 3310 model at Mobile World Congress, more than a decade after its demise.