Global smartphone sales fell by 5.6 percent in the 4th quarter of 2017, the business first decrease since 2004, based on a study from research firm Gartner. Chinese smartphone manufacturers Huawei and Xiaomi had been the only sellers at the top 5 to experience year over year increase in the quarter, correspondingly by 7.6 percent and 79 percent. Upgrades from feature phones to mobile phones have slowed down because of a lack of quality super cost effective mobile phones and users preferring to purchase quality feature phones, said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. Replacement smartphone users are opting for quality models and maintaining them longer.

While demand for top quality, 4G connectivity and camera features remained strong, high anticipation and incremental benefits during replacement smartphone sales, Gupta said. Samsung claimed the .1 spot for global earnings, growing market share from the 4th quarter of 2016, despite 3.6 percent dip. Apple earnings fell 5 per cent year over year and Oppo earnings fell 3.9 percent. All five top vendors grew in global market share from the 4th quarter of the 2017, widening the gap between the leaders and the rest of the business. Smartphones earnings for all 2017 increased by 2.7 percent from the last year to 1.5 billion.