Chinese Smartphone Companies Continued Volume Growth Despite Worldwide Decline

Among the top five global smartphone companies, Chinese vendors Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi continue growing their shipment volumes, while the thronetakers Samsung and Apple lost their units in the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q18).

Much of their increase came from the China market. The giant three with vivo, now number six on the global vendor list, grew their domestic share to about 78 percent, up from 66 percent in 2017, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker

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

Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 375.4 million units in 4Q18, down 5 percent year on year. And it was the fifth consecutive quarter of decline.

2018, the worst year ever for global smartphone shipments as IDC put it, saw a 4 percent decline with a total of 1.4 billion units shipped.

Top 5 smartphone companies of Q4 2018 (photo source: IDC)

However, Huawei, top among Chinese smartphone companies, saw a 44 percent increase to 60 millions units in 4Q18. It enjoyed a year-on-year volume growth of 34 percent. The devices from the Honor brand contributed much of Huawei’s success, accounting for almost half of its overall volume.

China represents about half of Huawei’s smartphone business, but that is dropping as the company expands its international market in places such as Africa, India and Europe.

5G and new designs could explain their success, as IDC believed.

“The arrival of both 5G and foldable devices later this year could bring new life to the industry depending on how vendors and carriers market the real-life benefits of these technologies,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“However, we expect these new devices to elevate average selling prices as new displays, chipsets, and radios will bring an increased price to the BOM (bill of materials), which will translate to higher price points for consumers. To combat this, carriers and retailers will need to fully maximize trade-in offers for older devices as a type of subsidy to push upgrades throughout 2019.” Scarsella added.

Featured photo credit to Engadget