2015 saw the highest ever volume of mobile handsets shipped, although growth of sales reportedly fatigued upon previous years.
A report from Strategy Analytics claims that 1.4bn units were shipped globally in 2015, although it noted that in the fourth quarter sales were only up by six per cent when compared with the previous year.
This slowdown hints at an eventual stagnation in sales as new adopters in the booming mobile market merely become biannual upgraders.
It said that despite the record sales, the industry had shown its slowest ever growth rate, 12 per cent annually from 1.28bn in full-year 2014 to a record 1.44bn in 2015.
Samsung topped the distributor, shipping 81.3m smartphones worldwide in Q4, with its sales boosted by nine per cent. With its Galaxy S7 flagship model set to release in the coming months, it looks likely to consolidate its market share.
Apple came second with 74.8m units shipped in the fourth quarter culminating in an 18 per cent market share, followed by Huawei with 32.6m.
The report read: “This quarter was the smartphone industry’s slowest growth rate of all time. Smartphone growth is slowing due to increasing penetration maturity in major markets like China and consumer worries about the future of the world economy.”
The report echoes a slowdown recently exhibited by Apple in its earning calls, in Q4 it sold 74.8m iPhones, falling short of the 75.46m target. Mac and tablet sales were also below expectations.