The global sales of smartphones in 4Q18 were 408.4 million units – up 0.1 percent over the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Gartner Inc. Apple recorded a quarterly decline of 11.8 percent.
“Demand for entry-level and midprice smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, in a statement. “Slowing incremental innovation at the high end, coupled with price increases, deterred replacement decisions for high-end smartphones.”
Table 1: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 4Q18 (Thousands of Units). Source: Gartner.
Apple saw iPhone demand weaken in most regions except North America and it declined most in Greater China, where Apple’s market share dropped to 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 14.6 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2017. For 2018 as a whole, iPhone sales were down 2.7 percent, to just over 209 million units.
In China Apple faces pressure, not only from mid-price alternatives but also from a growing national loyalty to Huawei at the high-end, according to reports.
Table 2: Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2018 (Thousands of Units). Source: Gartner.
Samsung lost market share in Greater China, Western Europe and Latin America, which contributed greatly to an overall 8.2 percent fall in its smartphone sales in 2018.
In 2018 as a whole, global sales of smartphones to end users grew 1.2 percent year over year, to 1.6 billion units. North America, mature Asia/Pacific and Greater China recorded the worst declines of the year, at 6.8 percent, 3.4 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. them recorded declines in 2018,” added Mr. Gupta.
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