Worldwide smartphone shipments return to growth

January 27, 2020

According to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC)’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments increased 0.8% year over year in the third quarter of 2019, reversing seven quarters of decline. It was reported that in total, companies shipped 358.3 million smartphones during the quarter, up 8.1% from the previous quarter and enough to return the industry to positive growth.

Among the smartphone companies, Samsung led in Q3 with annual growth of 8.3%, said to be on the back of the Galaxy Note 10 launch and increased A series volumes, shipping a total of 78.2 million smartphones in the quarter. With annual growth of 28.2%, China’s Huawei was reported to have the second largest market share, shipping a total of 66.6 million units. Huawei’s shipments were said to be higher than expected, reported to be due to a shift in focus to its domestic market, building solid relationships with local service providers and offering favourable distributor terms, as well as a well-rounded product portfolio. 

Apple was reported by IDC to have shipped 46.6 million iPhones in Q3 2019, reflecting a slight decline year over year. The company continues to sell a number of refurbished iPhones via its own channels, which is said to sustain and possibly grow the installed base. Newer iPhones, specifically the iPhone 11 and XR, did very well in Q3, capturing strong share in important markets such as the US and Western Europe.

For the first time, Xiaomi saw less than a third of its shipments delivered domestically in China, which was second to India in volume. Domestically, despite its launch of the CC series to appeal to young female consumers, shipments declined under pressure from Huawei. In India, however, it strengthened its offline presence by expanding its sales network via the Mi Store and Mi Preferred Partners.

OPPO also focused its attention outside of China as it approached the tipping point of nearly half of its shipments outside of China, with domestic shipments focused on the Reno series and the A9. India experienced the strongest momentum internationally where the Reno series helped complete its product portfolio with higher-end offerings while the online-exclusive K series strengthened its online presence. 

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