Q4 of 2019 came as an auspicious affair for mobile phone vendors as the global smartphone market grew by 1% as the market hits 369 million units mark. This is the second consecutive quarter of growth, as Q3 saw similar trends.
The quarter turned out even better for Apple, who dethroned Samsung to take the top spot in global smartphone shipments for the final quarter of 2019. The Cupertino giant led the market as sales for iPhone 11 skyrocketed due to festive season. Apple’s market share grew by 9% QoQ as the company shipped 78 million units.
Samsung came in at second with a rather flat 1% QoQ growth in market share. The Korean electronics giant shipped 71 million units. Huawei took third place, even though its shipments declined by 7% amid the Sino-US trade furor that it has found itself at the centre of. The tussle has resulted Huawei losing access to Google apps and Android, hence the decline. Xiaomi showed an exponential 23% growth, shipping 33 million units while Oppo came fifth, growing by 2% to 30 million units.
On an annual basis, smartphone shipments fell by 2% to 1.37 billion units, even with a rather successful Q3 and Q4 for top smartphone makers. Samsung still retained its spot at the top with a 21.8% for the year, even though experts were expecting that Huawei could pose a serious threat. But the U.S. sanctions dealt a severe blow to Huawei’s growth, thus resulting in less-than-expected shipments. Still, it came second with 17.6% followed by Apple with 14.5%.
The situation looks encouraging. When the smartphone market dipped initially, experts speculated an end to the era of growth and forecasted a slowdown. However, the numbers seem to show a clearly reversed trend. Two consecutive growth quarters shows that the smartphone market is back on track, and the advent of 5G will only fuel this growth.
Also, the decline does not represent that people are reluctant to buy new smartphones. As more and more people come into mainstream, the market seems to have matured with consumers now willing to wait out for a prolonged period for new releases. Lack of any breakthrough innovation in smartphones is also a reason for this flattish growth.
2020 is going to be a momentous year for smartphones as more and more users will start to turn to 5G. With the new technology, older phones will become outdated and that will push more people to purchase newer versions that can support the blazingly fast internet connections.