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Global smartphone sales decline for the first time

The global sales of smartphones have declined for the first time ever, according to analysts.

Gartner has revealed that manufacturers faced a drop of 5.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2017, which follows years of unbroken growth in the industry - and it's thought this could follow a trend of users preferring expensive but longer lasting models.

Gartner's Anshul Gupta said: "Two main factors led to the fall in the fourth quarter of 2017. First, upgrades from feature phones to smartphones have slowed down due to a lack of quality 'ultra-low-cost' smartphones and users preferring to buy quality feature phones.

"Second, replacement smartphone users are choosing quality models and keeping them longer, lengthening the replacement cycle of smartphones.

"While demand for high quality, 4G connectivity and better camera features remained strong, high expectations and few incremental benefits during replacement weakened smartphone sales."

However, it should be noted that across the whole of last year, 1.5 billion smartphones were sold - which marked an increase of 2.7 per cent from 2016 - which suggests the dip may be a blip rather than a concerning drop.

And while previous research has suggested a small drop in sales two years ago, Gartner is seen as one of the more reliable industry trackers, and this is the first decline they have recorded.

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