Gartner’s smartphone marketshare values have truly displayed the challenges that mobile producers are facing in today’s over flooded markets. The company has released fresh data, showing smartphone sales stalled in Q4 and a growth of just over 0.1 percent over 2017’s holiday quarter. 408.4 million units were sold during this period.

Gartner has analysed two main factors resulting in the loss in sales;
slowing of upgrades from feature phones to smartphones due to a lack of quality “ultra-low-cost” smartphones; and existing smartphone owners selecting quality models and keeping them for longer, lengthening the replacement cycle.

Samsung has barely been able to retain its first place position in terms of market shares in the smartphone industry. Apple has stayed at 2nd place with a marginal 1.5% difference in shares separating the two.

Samsung has also witnessed losses in units sold compared to years before this. This fall is more noticeable in ‘high end devices’ like the Note 9 and Galaxy S9. Both of the devices have found it difficult to increase growth in sales due to newer Chinese rivals eating into Samsung’s market share.

Just last year, Apple warned it’s investors about the reduced revenue in its fiscal Q1 and followed with news about a 15% drop in iPhone sales. Apple’s immense decline in shares has made it one of the worst company’s in the holiday quarter sales among the other global smartphone companies. Gartner found that demand for iPhones has fallen in most regions with the exception of North America and most of mature Asia/Pacific.

Gartner has also said that in the year 2018 as a whole, iPhone sales have fallen down 2.7% and just 209 million units sold.

Apple has to deal not only with buyers delaying upgrades as they wait for more innovative smartphones. It also continues to face compelling high-price and midprice smartphone alternatives from Chinese vendors. Both these challenges limit Apple’s unit sales growth prospects,” said Gartner’s Anshul Gupta, senior research director, in a statement.

“Demand for entry-level and midprice smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018. Slowing incremental innovation at the high end, coupled with price increases, deterred replacement decisions for high-end smartphones,” he added.

With regards to Android, Huawei was one of the major rivals with Samsung. Huawei was able to close the gap on Apple from its third place slot by selling more than 60 million units in the holiday quarter, thereby increasing it’s shares by 4 percent from Q4 2017 till Q4 2018.

Huawei has also accomplished gaining the top growth in shares from all the top global smartphone vendors which has led Gartners to nickname 2018, ‘The year of Huawei’.

Huawei was able to expand its reach to not Asian/Pacific countries but also to majority of Latin America and most of the Middle East as well. This was accomplished through continued investment in these regions which as we now know, led to something beneficial in the long run.

Not to mention, Oppo’s increased global marketing has finally paid off and helped Oppo move up the top smartphone leaderboard, making it officially ranked as 4th place with 7.7% and the Chinese upstart Xiaomi in 5th place with 6.8%.

In the end, 2018 saw a growth of global smartphone saled with an increase of 1.2% over the years and 1.6 billion units being shipped.

However many growths in sales there were, there were also declines in individual firms as well.

“In mature markets, demand for smartphones largely relies on the appeal of flagship smartphones from the top three brands — Samsung, Apple and Huawei — and two of them recorded declines in 2018,” noted Gupta.

The stats for the units sold and shares for individual vendors is listed below.

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