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Record 1.4 billion smartphones shipped in 2015

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Smartphones shipped in record numbers in 2015, but it's not all good news.

According to a new Strategy Analytics report, 1.4 billion smartphones shipped in 2015. That's a record number, and it also represents a 12 percent growth over the previous year.

However, the report also suggests that the industry is slowing down. This can be seen from the fourth quarter figures, which show a mere six percent growth from the same period in 2014.

"This quarter was the smartphone industry's slowest growth rate of all time," reads the summary.

It doesn't seem as if this is a mere blip, either. The report cites the maturation of the smartphone market in China and other major markets, as well as "consumer worries about the future of the world economy."

There is also confirmation that Apple's period of sustained iPhone growth may be at an end. The report claims that iPhone growth is peaking, and that Apple will need to expand into new markets like India or Nigeria if it's not to stall in 2016.

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Overall, the top five manufacturers in 2014 maintained their positions in 2015. Samsung and Apple retained their positions as the top two, Huawei is third, Lenovo-Motorola is fourth, and Xiaomi is fifth.

Huawei in particular had a good year, becoming one of the few manufacturers to ever ship 100 million smartphones in a year. It too experienced slowing sales towards the end - a clear trend as we head deeper into 2016.

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