Global smartphone shipments fell 6% on a year-over-year comparison, totaling 376 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm added that the global smartphone shipments drop for the full year of 2018 was 5%, marking the smartphone industry’s first ever full-year decline.
Samsung retained the top spot for global smartphone market share with 18% for the final quarter of the year, ahead of Apple iPhone in second place, and Huawei, in third.
“The global smartphone market has now declined for five consecutive quarters, due to longer replacement rates, a lack of wow models, and economic headwinds,” said Linda Sui, Strategy Analytics director, in a prepared statement. “Global smartphone shipments fell 5 percent from 1.51 billion in full-year 2017 to 1.43 billion in full-year 2018. This was the first time ever in history the global smartphone market has declined on a full-year basis. It is a landmark event.”
Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics executive director, said in a prepared statement that Samsung shipped 69.3 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2018, dipping 7 percent annually from 74.4 million units in Q4 2017. “Samsung remains the world’s number one smartphone vendor, despite intense competition from Apple, Huawei, and others across core markets of India, Europe and the US,” he said. “Apple slipped 15 percent annually from 77.3 million iPhones shipped worldwide during Q4 2017 to 65.9 million in Q4 2018. The iPhone captured 18 percent global smartphone market share in Q4 2018, slipping from 19 percent a year ago. Apple suffered big losses in China and this dragged down its global performance. Demand for the new XR, XS and XS Max models fell below expectations.”