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Global Smartphone Shipments Down 6 Percent In 3Q18

Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 355.2 million units during the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), resulting in a year-over-year decline of 6.0 percent. This was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines for the global smartphone market, which raises questions about the market’s future. IDC maintains its view that the market will return to growth in 2019, but at this stage, it is too early to tell what that growth will look like. While the overall smartphone market has declined for four straight quarters, two things stand out as major factors in the third quarter. Samsung, the largest smartphone vendor in terms of market share, accounting for 20.3 percent of shipments in 3Q18, declined 13.4 percent year-over-year in the quarter. And secondly, China, which is the largest country market for smartphone consumption, accounting for roughly one-third of global shipments, was down as well for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Samsung had a challenging quarter with shipments down 13.4 percent to 72.2 million units shipped. The market share leader continues to feel pressure from all directions, especially with Huawei inching closer to the top after its second consecutive quarter as the number two vendor. In addition, growing markets like India and Indonesia, where Samsung has held leading positions for many years, are being changed by the rapid growth of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo.

Meanwhile, China’s domestic market, which represents roughly one-third of all smartphones consumed, has been in decline since the second quarter of 2017, and 3Q18 was the sixth consecutive quarter where the market sees contraction. China was down 11 percent in the first half of 2018 (1H18), and the challenges continued into 3Q18. Overall IDC expects this decline to decelerate with the market returning to flat growth in 2019.

Top 5 Smartphone Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth

Company

3Q18 Shipment Mn. Nos.

3Q18 Market Share

3Q17 Shipment Mn. Nos.

3Q17 Market Share

3Q18/3Q17 Change

Samsung

72.2

20.3%

83.3

22.1%

-13.4%

Huawei

52.0

14.6%

39.1

10.4%

32.9%

Apple

46.9

13.2%

46.7

12.4%

0.5%

Xiaomi

34.3

9.7%

28.3

7.5%

21.2%

OPPO

29.9

8.4%

30.6

8.1%

-2.1%

Others

119.9

33.8%

149.8

39.6%

-19.9%

Total

355.2

100.0%

377.8

100.0%

-6.0%

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