Consumer Electronics

In Major Development, Smartphone Sales Fall, Apple Share Disappoints

Smartphones have fueled the growth in consumer electronics sales for nearly a decade. Billions of people own these devices, and they are critical to the futures of major global companies like Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Continuing a recent trend, smartphone sales have continued to fall.

According to Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments were down 3% in the second quarter. Linda Sui, one of the directors of the research firm, said:

Global smartphone shipments dipped 3 percent annually from 350.4 million units in Q2 2018 to 341.4 million in Q2 2019. The global smartphone market has declined again on an annual basis, but the fall is less severe than before, and this was the industry’s best performance for over a year. Global smartphone shipments are showing further signs of stabilizing, due to relatively enhanced demand in major markets like China. The outlook for the second half of this year is improving.

Samsung maintained its position as the number one smartphone company by market share. It shipped 76.3 million phones in the quarter, up from 71.5 million last year. Chinese manufacturer Huawei, caught in a trade war with the United States, nevertheless took second place. Its shipments rose from 54.2 million to 58.7 million.

Apple was third, and its shipments fell from 41.3 million to 38.0 million. Sui commented:

Apple iPhone shipped 38.0 million units to capture 11 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q2 2019, dipping from 12 percent marketshare a year ago. Apple iPhone shipments fell 8 percent annually, making it the worst performer among the world’s big-five smartphone players. Apple is stabilizing in China due to price adjustments and buoyant trade-ins, but other major markets such as India and Europe remain challenging for the expensive iPhone.

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi had flat shipments of 32.0 million in the second quarter, compared with the same quarter a year ago. China’s Oppo was next with shipments of 29.8 million, down from 30.2 million in the year-ago period.

The numbers were doubly bad for Apple as it tries to increase flagging iPhone sales. It not only has trouble with its number of shipments, but it also is competing in a stagnant market.

Vendor Global Shipments (Market Share) Q2 2018 Global Shipments (Market Share) Q2 2019
Samsung 71.5 million (20.4%) 76.3 million (22.3%)
Huawei 54.2 million (15.5%) 58.7 million (17.2%)
Apple 41.3 million (11.8%) 38.0 million (11.1%)
Xiaomi 32.0 million (9.1%) 32.0 million (9.4%)
Oppo 30.2 million (8.6%) 29.8 million (8.7%)
Others 121.2 million (34.6%) 106.6 million (31.2%)
Total 350.4 million 341.4 million

Source: Strategy Analytics. Numbers are rounded. Total growth year over year: −2.8 in Q2 2018, −2.6 in Q2 2019.

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