Wednesday, 28 August 2019 13:07

Global smartphone sales on the decline, iPhone sales keep dropping Featured

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Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 1.7% in the second quarter of 2019, totaling 368 million units - with sales of Apple's iPhone still in a steady downward spiral, according to a new report from analyst firm Gartner.

While Apple iPhone sales continued their steady decline, among the top five global smartphone vendors, Huawei and Samsung achieved the strongest annual sales increases in the quarter at 16.5% and 3.8%, respectively, Gartner reports.

Apple sold just over 38 million iPhones in the second quarter, a 13.8% decline year over year.

“Too few incremental benefits are preventing existing iPhone users from replacing their smartphones,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner

”Apple has reached an inflection point marked by shifting its business toward services, which represented 21% of the vendor’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2019,” Gupter said.

According to Gartner “demand for high-end smartphones has slowed at a greater rate than demand for midrange and low-end smartphones”.

“To try to boost smartphone replacements, we’ve seen manufacturers bringing premium features such as multilens front/back cameras, bezel-less displays and large batteries from their flagship smartphones into lower-priced models,” notes Gartner.

On Huawei and Samsung, Gupta says "both grew market share in the quarter, which led them to account for more than a third of total smartphone sales globally.”

But Gartner says the Huawei ban announcement led to a sharp decline in Huawei’s smartphone sales in the global market for the quarter – “although sales did improve slightly on the ban’s deferment”.

“While its smartphone sales total was weaker globally, strong promotion and brand positioning helped Huawei sell a record number of smartphones in Greater China in the quarter, growing 31% in the region.”

Gartner notes that "Samsung returned to growth while Apple continued to decline".

Samsung sold over 75 million smartphones in the second quarter and grew its share by 1.1 percentage points year over year.

“Strong demand for Samsung’s new Galaxy A series smartphones and the revamp of its entire entry-level and midrange smartphone range helped this positive performance,” said Gupta.

“Demand for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S10 started to weaken during the quarter, however, indicating that achieving growth in 2019 as a whole will be a challenge.”

But Gartner says the Huawei ban announcement led to a sharp decline in Huawei’s smartphone sales in the global market for the quarter – “although sales did improve slightly on the ban’s deferment”.

“While its smartphone sales total was weaker globally, strong promotion and brand positioning helped Huawei sell a record number of smartphones in Greater China in the quarter, growing 31% in the region.”

Gartner says global smartphone sales will remain weak for the rest of the year and its analysts expect that worldwide sales to end users will total 1.5 billion units in 2019.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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