Global sales of smartphones to end users continued to decline in the third quarter of 2019, contracting by 0.4% compared with the third quarter of 2018, according to Gartner, Inc.
Huawei was the only one of the top-five global smartphone vendors to achieve double-digit growth in smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2019. The company sold 65.8 million smartphones, an increase of 26%, year over year. Huawei’s performance in China was the key driver of its global smartphone sales growth. It sold 40.5 million smartphones in China and increased its share of the country’s market by almost 15 percentage points.
While the ban on Huawei to access key U.S. technologies is yet to be fully implemented as a three-month extension was just announced, the proposed ban brought negativity around Huawei’ brand in the international market. Nevertheless, Huawei’s strong ecosystem in China continued to show growth. The current situation with the U.S. has also fostered patriotism among Huawei’s partners, which are now keener to promote its smartphones in China — a development that makes it difficult for local competitors to compete aggressively against Huawei. Huawei’s long investment in subbrands (Honor and Nova), in multichannel operations (online and retail), and in 5G and other technological innovation forms the basis of its success in China.
Samsung maintained the No. 1 position globally in the third quarter of 2019, by increasing its smartphone sales by 7.8%, year over year. “Samsung’s aggressive revamp of its portfolio, with a focus on midtier and entry-tier segments, strengthened its competitive position,” said Mr. Gupta.
Apple’s iPhone sales continued to decline in the third quarter of 2019. Apple sold 40.8 million iPhones, a year-over-year decline of 10.7%.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Apple does not make low-end crap in order to boost shipment totals. Apple doesn’t play in the unit share game. Apple makes only high-end smartphones. Of course, Apple’s absence from the race doesn’t preclude some from criticizing Apple’s performance in said race.
Of course, third quarter is also the quarter before new iPhones are launched as everyone in the world knows and Apple still sold over 40 million high-end units in a 90-day period with margins that would make Samsung, Huawei, et al. faint from shock.