Global smartphone shipments take a tumble into recession


Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and Apple iPhone gained marketshare from Samsung

Smartphone shipments globally fell 8% annually to reach 360 million units in third quarter of 2018, thanks to inventory build up and a lack of tempting designs.

Samsung maintained first position with 20% global smartphone marketshare, ahead of Huawei in second place, while Xiaomi and OPPO rose to record highs in fourth and fifth places, showed the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Global smartphone shipments tumbled 8% annually from 393.1 million units in Q3 2017 to 360.0 million in Q3 2018. The global smartphone market has now declined for four consecutive quarters and is effectively in a recession. The smartphone industry is struggling to come to terms with heavily diminished carrier subsidies, longer replacement rates, inventory build up in several regions, and a lack of exciting hardware design innovation.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added: “Samsung shipped 72.3 million smartphones worldwide in Q3 2018, dipping 13% annually from 83.4 million units in Q3 2017. Samsung is losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese rivals in the huge China and India markets. Samsung must solve its China and India problems before it is too late.”

Meanwhile Huawei soared 32% annually from 39.1 million smartphones shipped worldwide during Q3 2017 to a healthy 51.8 million units in Q3 2018. Huawei remains the world’s second largest smartphone vendor with 14% share. Huawei has little presence in the valuable North America market, but its Android models are popular in most of the rest of the world, particularly Asia and Europe, noted the company.

Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics, added: “Apple iPhone growth was flat, shipping 46.9 million units for 13 percent smartphone marketshare worldwide in Q3 2018. The new iPhone XR, XS and XS Max range is in healthy demand, but Apple’s relentless focus on price increases its capping its overall volume growth.”

Xiaomi shipped an impressive 33 million smartphones and held fourth position with a record 9% global marketshare in Q3 2018, lifting from 7% share one year ago. Said Sui: “Xiaomi’s growth increased 19% annually in the quarter, but this was down from the 91% rate it hit a year ago. Xiaomi continues to slow, due to intensified competition from Huawei in its key markets of India and China.

“OPPO held fifth place, capturing 9% global smartphone marketshare in Q3 2018, up slightly from 8% a year ago. OPPO has had a tough year, but it is finally stabilising and fighting back with keener pricing and innovative big-screen models such as the Find X with a pop-up selfie camera,” she concluded.


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