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Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Down 5%

Latest research from top analyst firm IDC shows “the worst year ever” for smartphone sales, reporting a 4.9% YoY drop worldwide.

According to IDC estimates, smartphone shipments across the board during fiscal Q4 2018 hit 375.4 million units, down 4.9% year-over-year marking a fifth consecutive quarter with declined smartphone shipments.

For the entire year, 1.4 billion smartphones were shipped, down 4.1 per cent compared to 2017.

“Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“We believe several factors are at play here, including lengthening replacement cycles, increasing penetration levels in many large markets, political and economic uncertainty, and growing consumer frustration around continuously rising price points.”

During the Q4, IDC estimates that Samsung shipped 70.4 million smartphones (down 5.5%) maintaining its top spot, although its market share fell to 18.7%.

It was followed by Apple, edging out Huawei on a worldwide basis, with Huawei shipping 60.5 million units.

For the entire year, IDC estimates Apple shipped 208.8 million iPhones (down 3.2%), lagging behind Samsung which shipped 292.3 million (down 8%).

Huawei placed third overall and, despite its negative press and privacy concerns, it was the biggest gainer shipping 206 million units (up 43.9% YoY) and is hot on the heels of Apple with only 1-2 million units separating their results.

IDC has pointed to the incoming 5G and flagships on the horizon for both Samsung and Huawei could shake things up, but hasn’t ruled out Apple entirely just yet.

Read IDC’s full release here.

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