In Southeast Asia, Samsung and Oppo have the highest market share (Courtesy Canalys)
Worldwide smartphone shipments fell by 7% in the third quarter of 2018, according to a report by global technology market analyst firm Canalys. This was said to be the worst third quarter performance the industry has seen since 2015.
In China, the smartphone market shipped 100.6 million units, a year-on-year decline of 15.2% and sequential decline of 2.9%. India overtook the US as the second largest market, though both countries were said to have been hit by weaker seasonal performance compared with last year. Seven of the top 10 markets recorded year-on-year declines reported to be caused by lengthening smartphone replacement cycles, worsening international trading conditions and competition from major Chinese vendors.
Fourteen of the top twenty smartphone brands in China were said to have declined in Q3 2018, putting pressure on vendors amid increasing component and labour costs. Chinese vendors are said to be highly focused on overseas expansion in South Asia, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe, to hedge against domestic business challenges, but it was stated that the current international trade environment and geopolitical issues will have a negative impact on business.
All Chinese smartphone vendors combined now account for 52% of the worldwide smartphone market (Courtesy Canalys)
Greater China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) was the worst performing region, down 14.6% annually. On the other hand, Central and Eastern Europe continued to be the top performer, growing 2.2% year on year, followed by Africa at 0.4%.
Samsung was the only vendor to post a year-on-year decline of 14%, reducing its market share to 20.4% from 22% in Q3 2017. Huawei took second place in the market ahead of Apple, shipping 52 million units after growing 33% year-on-year.
Apple grew by just 0.4%, shipping 47 million units. Xiaomi and Oppo rounded out the top five, shipping 33 million and 31 million units respectively. All Chinese vendors combined now account for 52% of the worldwide smartphone market, their highest share in history.
Apple’s smartphone product transition is still underway, having launched its new flagship smartphones in September 2018. In 10 days of availability in Q3, the iPhone XS shipped 3.3 million units, but was overtaken by the more expensive iPhone XS Max, which shipped 4.7 million units. China was the largest market for the iPhone XS Max, accounting for 45% of its shipments, while the US was its second largest market at 27%.