In the third quarter of 2018, Samsung experienced its biggest decline since Gartner has been tracking smartphone sales globally. Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 14 percent in the third quarter. Samsung’s Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9 struggled to revive demand in 2018, and its revamped midtier and entry-tier smartphones continued to face huge competition from top Chinese brands who grew market share in key markets, such as India, and their expansion into regions beyond Asia/Pacific continues to take away opportunities from Samsung.

Apple’s performance notched 0.7 percent growth in the third quarter of 2018. “Apple’s iPhones are facing a saturated premium smartphone market, with slowing growth rates and increased competition in China,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, in a statement. “Apple’s new flagship smartphones, announced in September, will be key to defining Apple’s overall iPhone unit sales in 2018. Initial channel checks suggest that the Xs Max is outselling the Xs model, and we also see the Xs Max as a critical addition for the Chinese market where Apple has been losing share.”

“While 2019 will mark an important year for more R&D and testing/trials of varying 5G technologies, it is unlikely that 5G will be seen in mobile devices in significant volumes before 2020,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, in a statement. “We expect 5G mobile phone sales to total 65 million units in 2020.”

In addition, several vendors, such as Samsung, Huawei and LG, are expected to launch new foldable form factors in 2019. “Beyond the initial interest these devices will be expensive and with usability trade-offs initially,” said Ms. Cozza. “It will take time for vendors to build a strong ecosystem of software, and to get developers on board to generate attractive and innovative user experiences around foldable smartphones.”

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: When 5G is actually ready, Apple will offer 5G iPhones. As usual, when/if Apple makes a foldable iPhone, then the technology will be of acceptable quality, be able to be made in acceptable quantity, and Apple’s implementation will show the also-rans how it should be done.

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