Samsung tops global smartphone market; Huawei biggest gainer: IDC

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NEW DELHI, MAY 03
The smartphone market globally witnessed a decline in the first quarter of 2018. According to a report by market research firm IDC, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.3 million units during the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), resulting in a 2.9% decline when compared to the 344.4 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2017.
“The China market was the biggest driver of this decline with shipment volumes dipping below 100 million in the quarter, which hasn’t happened since the third quarter of 2013,” said IDC in its report.
One of the key reasons for the drop in smartphone shipments is due to the fact that people not willing to buy expensive mobile phones. “The abundance of ultra-high-end flagships with big price tags released over the past 12-18 months has most likely halted the upgrade cycle in the near term. It now looks as if consumers are not willing to shell out this kind of money for a new device that brings minimal upgrades over their current device,” said IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella.
Samsung remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market, grabbing 23.4% share despite experiencing a 2.4% decline from Q1 2017. The new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are among the most popular devices while Samsung’s A series and J series continued to drive most of the key volume in both developed and emerging markets.
Apple’s first quarter saw the iPhone maker move 52.2 million iPhones representing a modest 2.8% year-over-year increase from the 50.8 million units shipped last year. Despite reports of an underperforming iPhone X in the quarter, Apple stated that the iPhone X was the most popular model each week in the March quarter.
Huawei climbed to a new market share high of 11.8% even as it remained in third overall. While its high-end smartphones are popular in China, the bulk of its shipments are of the more affordable class of smartphones, and it also introduced a few new models in the low-end and mid-range segments. Outside of China, Huawei is growing and gaining market share across the Western Europe region, an otherwise declining market, and is particularly strong in Spain, Germany, and Italy.
Xiaomi has managed to take the fourth spot, courtesy its strong growth outside China. The company continued its retail expansion in India and Southeast Asia, with online channels remain the key contributor in India, its second largest market. Its low-end Redmi 5A made up almost two-fifths of its volume in India. Xiaomi also recently announced PCB assembly in India, becoming the second vendor after Samsung to do so.
Oppo stood at the fifth spot, recording year-over-year decline of 7.5%. However, this is more a result of the China slowdown than of its performance overseas, as both share and shipment volumes abroad increased in the first quarter. To counter Xiaomi’s strong growth in the India market, Oppo has also shifted some focus to online channels where it had been solely focused on offline channels in the past.

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