Smartphone market declined for the first time

Overall global Smartphone market declined for the first time, registering 4 per cent drop from 1,558.8 million unit shipments in 2017 to 1,498.3 million units in 2018. According to the Counterpoint Research the fourth quarter Smartphone shipments for 2018 recorded a decline of 7 per cent, marking it as the fifth consecutive quarter of Smartphone decline.

Samsung had 19% share, followed by Apple and Huawei, both at 14%, globally. Xiaomi with 8 per cent market share was fourth.

According to the Counterpoint Research the decline in Smartphone shipments can be attributed to lengthening replacement cycles in developed markets like US, China and Western Europe.

Smartphone original equipment manufacturers tried to push sales by adding features such as Artificial Intelligence, multiple camera assemblies, full-screen displays and in-screen fingerprint scanners, etc. But as research says, consumers held on to their devices longer due to the absence of ground-breaking innovations and higher prices of devices being offered by the OEMs. 

Huawei, OPPO and Vivo continue to dominate with strong performances in China, India, Asia and parts of Europe. Samsung and Apple saw tough times as demand for their flagship phones waned due to competition from affordable yet premium phones from Chinese brands such as Huawei and OnePlus, the report said.

Xiaomi reached a record fourth position for the full year after two years of setbacks thanks to immense growth in India. It has surpassed OPPO globally to take back the fourth position.

“BBK Group (which owns OPPO, Realme, Vivo and OnePlus brands) is collectively the world’s third largest manufacturer, even bigger than Huawei in terms of volume,” said the report.

Huawei continued to have its sights on Apple and should surpass Apple as the second largest brand globally in 2019 if it does not face any sanctions from the US the way ZTE was cut-off from American suppliers, noted the report