Global Smartphone Sales Continued to Decline in Q2 of 2019: Gartner

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  • Huawei and Samsung exhibited the strongest annual sales increases in the Q2 of 2019
  • Samsung sold over 75 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2019
  • Sales of iPhones continued to decline year over year
  • India sold a total of 35.7 million smartphones, achieving a market share of 9.7 per cent in the Q2 of 2019
  • Global smartphone sales will remain weak for the rest of the year

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

Representative image

Demand for high-end smartphones has slowed at a greater rate than the demand for mid-range and low-end smartphones, said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. He further stated that to try to boost smartphone replacements, Gartner has seen manufacturers bringing premium features such as multi-lens front/back cameras, bezel-less displays and large batteries from their flagship smartphones into lower-priced models.

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 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively (see Table 1). As a result, both the companies grew market share in the quarter, which led them to account for more than a third of total smartphone sales globally, said Gupta.

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 per cent in the region.

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(Table 1)

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

Vendor 2Q19

Units

2Q19 Market Share (per cent) 2Q18

Units

2Q18 Market Share (per cent)
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)

Samsung Returned to Growth, Apple Continued to Decline
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 mid-range 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.”

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 per cent decline year over year. “Too few incremental benefits are preventing existing iPhone users from replacing their smartphones,” said Gupta.” Apple has reached an inflection point marked by shifting its business’ ss toward services, which represented 21 per cent of the vendor’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2019.”

China and Brazil: Only Countries in the Top 5 to Show Smartphone Sales Growth
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 per cent 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 per cent 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 a market share of 9.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2019. Those sales in India represented a 2.3 per cent decline year over year, however, 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 sales of worldwide smartphone sales to end-users will total 1.5 billion units in 2019.

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