Gap Between Samsung And Huawei Shrinks
Latest Gartner data claims the gap between Huawei and Samsung has further shrunk, with Chinese manufacturers driving Q3 smartphone shipments to 389 million units.
For Q3, global smartphone shipments lift 1.4%, with growth lead by Chinese giants Huawei and Xiaomi.
Gartner claims had Huawei and Xiaomi been removed from Q3 data, smartphone sales to end users would have declined 5.2%.
Research Director, Anshul Gupta, attributes low-priced devices with enhanced camera features and high-quality resolution displays for boosting Q3 sales in emerging markets.
According to Gartner, demand for Huawei smartphones soared 43% in Q3, remaining the number one phone brand in Greater China and within the top 3 in several European markets.
“The gap between Samsung and Huawei continues to shrink, as Huawei expands aggressively by investing in branding and distribution in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia/Pacific and Africa,” asserts Mr Gupta.
“Huawei is, for example, aggressively positioning its affordable Honor series smartphones to drive the shift from feature phones to smartphones in those markets.”
During Q3, Samsung notched its biggest decline since Gartner began tracking smartphone sales globally – down 14%.
Complementing a drop in replacement demand, Samsung’s smartphone division has continued to face mounting competition from Chinese rivals.
Californian giant, Apple, has not been immune to market competition, with Q3 shipments remaining flat (0.7% growth).
It follows a lower-than-expected holiday outlook, coupled with a drop in iPhone production volumes.
“Apple’s iPhones are facing a saturated premium smartphone market, with slowing growth rates and increased competition in China,” claims Gupta.
“Apple’s new flagship smartphones, announced in September, will be key to defining Apple’s overall iPhone unit sales in 2018″
“Initial channel checks suggest that the Xs Max is outselling the Xs model, and we also see the Xs Max as a critical addition for the Chinese market where Apple has been losing share.”
As flagship phone sales continue to decline, commentators are looking to the the new era of 5G devices and foldable smartphones to reinvigorate the market.
Gartner Research Director, Roberta Cozza, asserts 2019 is an important year for mobile R&D, adding it’s unlikely 5G mobile devices will notch significant volumes before 2020.
“We expect 5G mobile phone sales to total 65 million units in 2020″
“Beyond the initial interest these [foldable] devices will be expensive and with usability trade-offs initially”
“It will take time for vendors to build a strong ecosystem of software, and to get developers on board to generate attractive and innovative user experiences around foldable smartphones.”
As previously reported, both Samsung and Huawei are tipped to unveil their first foldable smartphone next year.
Further information is available on Gartner’s website here.