Huawei takes Apple spot on worldwide smartphone sales

Samsung maintains a comfortable lead

Huawei has taken the second position on the worldwide smartphone market share according to preliminary data from IDC.

This marks the first quarter since 2Q10 where Apple has not been the number one or two smartphone company in terms of market share, according to the research firm.

Huawei delivered shipments of 54.2 million units to move into the second position with a record high market share of 15.8 per cent, while also continuing to lead the China smartphone market with a market share of 27 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.

"The continued growth of Huawei is impressive, to say the least, as is its ability to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown," said Ryan Reith, program vice president of worldwide mobile device trackers at IDC.

"It is worth noting that Apple moved into the top position each of the last two holiday quarters following its product refresh, so it's likely we'll see continued movement among the top ranked companies in 2018 and beyond."

Samsung maintained a comfortable lead, although indications from its recent 2Q18 earnings call suggest its mobile division revenues will face challenges moving forward - its flagship S9/S9+, which launched late in the first quarter, witnessed slower than normal sales according to Samsung.

Apple dropped to the third spot for the first time despite its second quarter growth. Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones, representing modest growth of 0.7 per cent over the 41.0 million units shipped last year.

A total of 342 million smartphone units were shipped by vendors during the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), resulting in a 1.8 per cent decline when compared to the 348.2 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2017.

According to IDC, the drop marks the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines for the global smartphone market and only the fourth quarter of decline in history.

"IDC believes this is the result of churn in some highly penetrated markets, although many high growth markets still exist and should return smartphone shipments to overall growth," research stated.

"Consumers remain willing to pay more for premium offerings in numerous markets and they now expect their device to outlast and outperform previous generations of that device which cost considerably less a few years ago," added Anthony Scarsella, research manager at IDC.

"To contest this slowdown, vendors will need to focus on new innovative features and form factors combined with incentives and promotions to drive growth in many of these highly competitive markets moving forward."

According to IDC, Xiaomi has pulled ahead of Samsung for the number one position in India over the past few quarters and has now closed the gap with Samsung in Indonesia as it ramped up its local production to address the increased demand during Ramadan period, while also expanding its online channel presence and opening up more Mi home stores in the country.

Oppo faced a slowdown in key markets like India and most of Southeast Asia as it eased back on its aggressive marketing and sales activities in the region.

Despite this, the company still managed to grow 5.1 per cent over last year as it continued its expansion into other markets such as the Middle East & Africa. 

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