Smartphone Sales Slide In Q2, IDC Data Shows

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IDC data shows decline in smartphone sales, with Huawei retaining its second place, ahead of Apple

The verdict on the smartphone market in the second quarter of this year has been published by industry watchers IDC.

It found that once again, Samsung remained the leading smartphone maker in the world, with Huawei in second position. Apple remained in third place, closely followed by Xiaomi.

But the IDC figures showed the moribund state of the smartphone sector, with worldwide smartphones shipments slowing, as evidence by the latest financial reports from the likes of Apple etc.

Shipment decline

The IDC figures show that smartphone makers shipped a total of 333.2 million smartphones worldwide in Q2 2019, down 2.3 percent from the 341.2 million units shipped in Q2 2018.

IDC stated that challenges were seen across many markets with China and the United States experiencing the sharpest quarterly declines.

But it feels that the declines in China during the first half of 2019 have been less severe than the second half of 2018, suggesting some recovery is underway. There was strong momentum in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China), fueled by growth across India and many Southeast Asia markets.

“Despite a lot of uncertainty surrounding Huawei the company managed to hold its position at number two in terms of market share,” said Ryan Reith, program VP with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“When you look at the top of the market – Samsung, Huawei, and Apple – each vendor lost a bit of share from last quarter, and when you look down the list the next three – Xiaomi, OPPO, and vivo – all gained,” said Reith. “Part of this is related to the timing of product launches, but it is hard not to assume this trend could continue.”

Cheaper handsets

According to IDC, Samsung maintained the top position in the market for 2Q19 and returned to annual growth of 5.5 percent with a total of 75.5 million smartphones shipped.

Although it struggled to sell its flagship products due to consumers holding onto their handsets for longer and opting for cheaper replacements, its A-series handsets sold well in the quarter.

Huawei’s big achievement in the quarter was holding onto second place, as shipment volumes decline 0.6 percent when compared to 1Q19.

However it performed well in its local Chinese market, as the firm “relocated significant human resources back to China with a focus on distribution channel management in the Chinese lower-tier cities.”

Apple shipped 33.8 million new iPhones during 2Q19, which was down significantly from the same quarter a year ago, IDC said.

The analyst house cited Apple’s upgrade program, as well as Apple’s ability to sell more refurbished iPhones through its channels. It said “the argument can easily be made that its position in the market is still dominant.”

“Although the overall market remains in decline, the performance in the second quarter indicates that demand is starting to pick up as the market begins to stabilize again,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“A key driver in the second quarter was the availability of vastly improved mid-tier devices that offer premium designs and features while significantly undercutting the ultra-high-end in price,” said Scarsella. “Combine this with intensified and generous trade-in programs across major markets and channels and upgrading now makes more sense to consumers.”

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