Global smartphones sales slump as Samsung shipments slip

IDC blamed Samsung's weak performance and fewer shipments in China for the slump

Smartphones pile

Following the news that Samsung's mobile revenues declined in the last quarter, IDC has revealed that global smartphone shipments have decreased overall, by exactly 6% year-on-year.

There were 355.2 million smartphones shipped during the quarter, with Samsung's share falling by more than 13%, contributing heavily to the figures.

Huawei remained above Samsung as the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the quarter, thanks to its introduction of the P20 Pro - one of its flagship products that boasts one of the best smartphone cameras in the world according to some reviewers. 

Other lesser-known brands such as Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo are challenging Samsung's third place too. IDC expects Huawei to retain its position as it launches its Mate 20 Pro, just as Apple releases the iPhone XR.

The other significant factor in the global smartphone decline was shipments within China, which fell further from the 11% decline in the previous quarter. This is the sixth consecutive quarter that shipments have declined in China.

"China's domestic market continues to be challenged as overall consumer spending around smartphones has been down," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

"High penetration levels, mixed with some challenging economic times, has slowed the world's largest smartphone market."

Reith added that IDC expects the market to recover somewhat in 2019, although IDC's report didn't reveal estimates for shipments, preferring to stay cautious. IDC explained the recovery of the smartphone market over the next few years will be in part due to people upgrading their handsets and the introduction of 5G in some markets.

"We believe this market will begin to recover in 2019 and beyond, driven in the short term by a large, built up refresh cycle across all segments, and in the outer years of the forecast supported by 5G migration," Reith said.

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