Global smartphone sales slipped to a 1.7 per cent decline in Q2 2019 totalling 368 million units, as the demand for high-end devices slowed, Gartner found.
The research company’s Senior Research Director, Anshul Gupta, said there was a bigger slowdown in take up of premium devices, over midrange and low-end smartphones, and manufacturers tried to boost replacements by bringing premium features from their flagships into lower-end models.
While the overall market declined, Huawei and Samsung still experienced a strong quarter, with both vendors exhibiting strong annual sales increases of 16.5 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.
Samsung sold 75.1 million units, giving it an overall market share of 20.4 per cent, while the Chinese vendor sold 58 million smartphones, giving it 15.8 per cent.
Gartner noted that Huawei’s success was mainly down to strong promotion and brand positioning in China, where it experienced record growth of 31 per cent. However, the effects of an import ban by the US led to a sharp decline in smartphone sales globally.Huawei and Samsung aside, other major players continued to struggle. Apple, for example, sold 38 million iPhones in the second quarter, a decline of 13.8 per cent year on year.
“Too few incremental benefits are preventing existing iPhone users from replacing their smartphones,” said Gupta.With regards to markets, China and Brazil were the only two countries out of the top five to show growth.
China retained its number 1 position with 101 million smartphone sales, up 0.5 per cent year on year. Gartner noted Chinese vendors, with the availability of 5G models, “had to clear out inventory of 4G high-end smartphone model”.Brazil’s smartphone sales increased 1.3 per cent, achieving 10.8 million smartphone sales, as the country’s economy began to recover.
Gartner warned smartphone sales will remain weak for the rest of the year.