Last week, the International Data Corporation (IDC) reported Huawei retook its position as the world’s second largest smartphone maker in Q1 2019. The Chinese conglomerate moved 59.1 million units in the first three months of the year. Market leader Samsung shipped 71.9 million while the number two Apple sent retailers 39.4 million smartphones.
The New Normal
The IDC’s report has significant implications that go beyond Huawei outselling its American rival once again. For one thing, the organization noted the entire smartphone market was down by 6.6 percent compared to Q1 2018. Moreover, the Q1 2019 shipment numbers confirm it as the industry’s consecutive sixth quarter in decline.
Once a sector known for consistent and explosive growth, mobility has cooled considerably in recent years. The main causes are a slowing of economic development in China and the high quality of existing consumer hardware. However, the current downturn in the smartphone market isn’t affecting all companies in the same way.
Huawei managed to grow its shipments and market share by 50 percent since this time last year. The firm’s success is impressive considering its handsets have been effectively banned in the U.S. market. It should be noted that as opposed to the rest of the industry, the company isn’t racing to release the new most expensive handset ever made. Android Central notes most of the 39.1 billion units the conglomerate sold were in the low and mid-tier range.
Ryan Reith, a program vice president with IDC, explained Huawei’s relentless growth means it will likely retain its place as the world’s second-largest smartphone going forward. “This new ranking of Samsung, Huawei, and Apple is very likely what we’ll see when 2019 is all said and done.”
What Happens Next with Samsung and Apple?
Samsung has seen its market share steadily decline the last year but that trend stopped in Q1 2019. The South Korean electronics giant increased its market share by 4.4 percent, largely because of the success of its Galaxy S10 smartphone. The firm forecasts even better sales of its flagship device next quarter, so it should continue leading the pack.
The only problem it’s facing in the near future is the Galaxy Fold. The corporation clearly intended its new flexible smartphone to be a big part of its 2019 financial picture. However, its serious design flaws necessitated a delay in its worldwide rollout. If Huawei is able to widely release a functioning foldable handset before Samsung resolves the Fold’s issues, the Chinese firm may challenge the South Korean corporation’s market dominance.
Apple is in a somewhat better position than Samsung. The Silicon Valley giant made a new business deal with Qualcomm, so the next iPhone it issues will feature quality chipsets. With improved sourcing and 5G networks going live nationwide next year, the company should remain a solid number three.
The Big Tech firm isn’t all that concerned about its slipping smartphones sales. As its recent expansion into banking, gaming, and streaming video have confirmed, Apple is looking beyond the mobile electronics market.