Friday, 01 February 2019 05:07

Apple regains smartphone crown for final quarter of 2018

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Apple regains smartphone crown for final quarter of 2018 Pixabay

Apple overtook Samsung in the final quarter of 2018, shipping 71.7 million iPhones to become the top smartphone vendor for the period, with Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi making up the top five for Q4 2018, the analyst firm Canalys claims.

The global smartphone market saw a downward trend for the quarter, the fifth straight period that this has happened, with shipments slipping 6% to 362 million. For 2018 as a whole, shipments fell 5% from 2017, slipping from 1.5 billion to 1.4 billion, the company said.

"It is no shock to smartphone vendors that the market has passed its peak," said Canalys' senior analyst Ben Stanton. "People are clearly keeping phones for longer as product innovation slows.

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"But the speed and severity of shipment decline has caught many vendors, investors, and other companies in the value chain off-guard. International factors like the US-China trade war, weak consumer spending in developed markets, and a buoyant market for refurbished phones, have catalysed the decline of smartphone shipments."

Among the top three vendors, Huawei had the best year, topping it off with 47% growth in Q4 to 60.5 million units shipped. Overseas, it recorded an even more impressive showing, with shipments growing more than 60%.

For Apple, the final quarter of 2018 saw a 7% fall year-on-year, though it retained the top spot for shipments. The iPhone XR was top of the list for Apple,m with 22 million units shipped. The iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS shipped 14 million and nine million units respectively.

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Samsung fell to second spot in the fourth quarter of 2018, with shipments falling 5% to 70.3 million units. The company shopped 23 million fewer devices than in 2017 and its full-year shipments were 294 million units, well below the target of 320 million.

Graphics: courtesy Canalys

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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