Global smartphone sales continue to decline in Q2 2019

Samsung smartphone sales grew after six consecutive quarterly declines

Too few incremental benefits are preventing existing iPhone users from replacing their smartphones, said Gupta
Too few incremental benefits are preventing existing iPhone users from replacing their smartphones, said Gupta

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

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% and 3.8%, 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.

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% in the region.

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 midrange smartphone range helped this positive performance. “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,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.

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% 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 toward services, which represented 21% of the vendor’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2019.”

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% 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.

India sold a total of 35.7 million smartphones, achieving market share of 9.7% in the second quarter of 2019. Those sales in India represented a 2.3% 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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