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Smartphone production could hit six-year low this quarter, no end in sight for industry free fall

Smartphone production could hit six-year low this quarter, no end in sight for industry free fall
The global smartphone industry badly needs 5G connectivity and foldable form factors to rapidly catch on and spread like wildfire. Otherwise, dwindling sales may not be able to bounce back anytime soon.

It’s not just Apple or Samsung, but the market in its entirety. “Breakout innovation is becoming harder to come by”, according to a new Business Insider report (via 9To5Mac) citing gloomy Credit Suisse estimates.

The Swiss financial services company’s analysts expect worldwide smartphone production to take a huge hit in the first three months of 2019, dropping from 357 million units between October and December 2018 to 289 million.

It’s worth highlighting that the former tally is not final either, but if the two projected figures prove accurate, the mobile hardware industry is looking at a 3 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in Q4 2018, followed by a massive 19 percent slump during the January - March 2019 timeframe.

While production doesn’t equal sales, that 289 million count still sounds pretty bad compared to the 334 million smartphones reportedly shipped over the first three months of 2018, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

In fact, that number would put global smartphone production at its lowest quarterly level since the beginning of 2013. Worse yet, Credit Suisse thinks the “bottom is not yet in sight”, as the industry’s recent free fall could carry on a while longer.

It’s obviously hard to say how much longer, but if companies don’t find new ways to stand out and entice faster upgrades, smartphones may slowly but steadily follow in the PCs’ footsteps.

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