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IDC: Smartphone shipments down 2.9% in Q1 2018, Apple gains on Samsung

05 May 2018
IDC: Smartphone shipments down 2.9% in Q1 2018, Apple gains on Samsung

Market summary * Smartphone shipments declined 3 percent annually reaching 360 million units in Q1 2018. The major reason attributed for the decline as per the report was slugging Chineses market which shipped just 100 million in the quarter, which hasn't happened since the third quarter of 2013. Last year, the company followed the example of Apple, Samsung and Huawei and introduced its own smartphone chips, a move aimed at reducing dependence on external suppliers. This was all about the Apple's iPhones, all the latest four iPhones are placed on the top as Apple has shipped the most number of smartphones in the first quarter.

Though, Samsung grabbed 23.4 percent market share it experienced a decline of 2.4 percent. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are chugging along as well, with Apple specifically noting that the iPhone X was the most popular model each week in the quarter.

"Huawei has managed to significantly increase its presence across the big five European markets, and now holds nearly a fifth of sales in the three months to March 2018", said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, reflecting on the growth of the Chinese handset giant, despite having been effectively blocked from sales in the US.

This is Xiaomi has recorded the highest growth of 8.4% this year, nearly twice last year's level (4.3 per cent). Having said that, it is reported that the iPhone X helped Apple increase its market share, at least in urban China, to 22.1 percent. To counter Xiaomi's strong growth in the India market, OPPO has also shifted some focus to online channels where it had been exclusively focused on offline channels in the past.

Tech observers said Samsung may also outpace Apple in the second quarter, as the US tech giant normally posts weaker earnings in the April-June period. The unprecedented sales performance of Xiaomi Redmi 5A made it the most selling Android smartphone, beating Samsung Galaxy Galaxy S9 Plus. The top six models shipped globally account for 1 in 7 of all smartphones that have been shipped in the first quarter of this year. In 2018, we see that on average all smartphones are pretty good and you can do 90% of all things that an average user would do on any kind of smartphone.

The X took 5% of all smartphone sales by volume, according to Juha Winter, an analyst at Strategy Analytics. The iPhone 7 also shipped 5.6 million units. Shipments in the United States rose 8 percent year on year at 16.7 million while China was relatively flat at 9.3 million, down just 0.6 percent annually. It is not surprising to see top vendors growing share at the expense of smaller vendors as the market slows and survival gets tougher.”.

For brands like Gionee, Meizu, TCL and Lenovo, a rebound seems hard at this time.