Smartphone Sales Fall Globally: Samsung Bounces Back, Apple Continues to Decline

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  • Huawei and Samsung account for more than a third of total smartphone sales globally
  • China held the No. 1 position with 101 million smartphone sales in the second quarter of 2019
  • India sold a total of 35.7 million smartphones, achieving market share of 9.7 percent

Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2019, totalling 368 million units, according to Gartner, Inc.

Demand for high-end smartphones has slowed at a greater rate than demand for midrange and low-end smartphones, according to the report.

Among the top five global smartphone vendors, Huawei and Samsung exhibited the strongest annual sales increases in the second quarter of 2019 at 16.5 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

“As a result, they both grew market share in the quarter, which led them to account for more than a third of total smartphone sales globally,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.

The Huawei ban announcement led to a sharp decline in Huawei’s smartphone sales in the global market in the second quarter of 2019, although sales did improve slightly on the ban’s deferment. While its smartphone sales total was weaker globally, strong promotion and brand positioning helped Huawei sell a record number of smartphones in Greater China in the quarter, growing 31 percent in the region.

Samsung Returns to Growth After Six Consecutive Quarterly Declines

Samsung sold over 75 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2019 and grew its share by 1.1 percentage points year over year.

“Strong demand for Samsung’s new Galaxy A series smartphones and the revamp of its entire entry-level and midrange smartphone range helped this positive performance,” said Gupta.

“Demand for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S10 started to weaken during the quarter, however, indicating that achieving growth in 2019 as a whole will be a challenge,” he noted.

Sales of iPhones continued to decline year over year, although at a lesser rate compared with the first quarter of 2019. Apple sold just over 38 million iPhones in the second quarter, a 13.8 percent decline year over year.

According to Gupta, too few incremental benefits are preventing existing iPhone users from replacing their smartphones.

Apple has reached an inflection point marked by shifting its business toward services, which represented 21 percent of the vendor’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2019, he added.

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q19 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 2Q19

Units

2Q19 Market Share (%) 2Q18

Units

2Q18 Market Share (%)
Samsung 75,111.8 20.4 72,336.4 19.3
Huawei 58,055.7 15.8 49,846.5 13.3
Apple 38,522.9 10.5 44,715.1 11.9
Xiaomi 33,191.5 9.0 32,825.5 8.8
OPPO 28,112.2 7.6 28,511.1 7.6
Others 134,913.9 36.7 146,096.1 39.0
Total 367,908.1 100.0 374,330.6 100.0

Due to rounding, numbers may not add up precisely to the totals shown

Source: Gartner (August 2019)

China Leads in Smartphone Sales

Among the top five countries in smartphones sales, China held the No. 1 position with 101 million smartphone sales in the second quarter of 2019, up 0.5 percent year over year. With more 5G smartphone models available in the second quarter, vendors in China had to clear out inventory of 4G high-end smartphone models.

Achieving 10.8 million smartphone sales in the same period, Brazil was the only other country in the top five to exhibit growth (1.3 percent year over year). As the economy in Brazil is starting to slowly recover, this smartphone growth is a small indicator of stronger economic growth expected in 2020.

India sold a total of 35.7 million smartphones, achieving market share of 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Those sales in India represented a 2.3 percent decline year over year, mainly due to slowing consumer upgrades from feature phones to smartphones.

Global smartphone sales will remain weak for the rest of the year. Gartner analysts expect that worldwide smartphone sales to end users will total 1.5 billion units in 2019.

 

 

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