The smartphone sales slowdown is real

A visitor to the British museum takes a photo on his smartphone.
A British museum visitor uses his smartphone. Photo: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images

Earnings reports from Samsung and Qualcomm on Wednesday suggest a serious industrywide slowdown in smartphone sales. Samsung's report is especially telling, since it also makes displays and other components for Apple.

Why it matters: The smartphone business is an incredibly crowded space, so a slowdown could lead to even steeper price competition. That's a potential short-term boon for consumers, but could put the hurt on a whole host of technology companies.