Nobody knows. Apple stopped divulging iPhone unit sales numbers and nobody else ever announced how many smartphones they sold last year so how is it “2018 was the ‘worst year ever‘ for smartphone shipments?
All of us can pull imaginary numbers from our asses, but few of us get paid to do it. That’s exactly what seems to go on at IDC, one of the premier number guesstimators in technology.
[2018 was] the worst year ever for smartphone shipments
Uh, no it wasn’t. 2018 was not a record year. Smartphone sales have been on much of a plateau for a few years already. Why? Market saturation, mostly. There is growth in some developing nations, but not much in the good old U.S. of A.
Outside of a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam, we did not see a lot of positive activity in 2018.
I’m sure IDC counted all the smartphone sales in those countries, too.
Here’s the problem.
Such numbers are guesstimates by people in the guesstimation business. My father taught me that “if the only tool you know how to use is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” That might explain why people who make up numbers for a living always seem to have new numbers.
Only each smartphone vendor knows how many smartphones they shipped or sold in 2018, but you can rest assured it was not the worst year ever. Maybe it was bad for those non-Apple and non-Samsung manufacturers. Most of the industry’s revenue and profits come from Apple and Samsung.
But those numbers are now guesstimates, too.
Worst year ever for iPhone? No. Worst year ever for smartphones? No.