Strong growth for Huawei in Q4 even as global smartphone sales stall: Gartner
Apple at second place with 15.8 per cent market share recorded its worst quarterly decline (11.8 per cent) since the first quarter of 2016.
Signalling a new smartphone vendor war in 2019, Chinese player Huawei sold over 60 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2018, achieving the strongest growth of 37.6 per cent among the top five global players, Gartner said on Thursday. Global sales of smartphones to end users stalled in the quarter, totalling 408.4 million units -- a growth of just 0.1 percent over the fourth quarter of 2017.
Samsung sold 70.7 million units and garnered first place with 17.3 per cent share. Sales of Apple iPhones hit 64.5 million units in the fourth quarter. Apple at second place with 15.8 per cent market share recorded its worst quarterly decline (11.8 per cent) since the first quarter of 2016.
The share of Huawei -- at third place with 14.8 per cent market share -- grew throughout 2018 to close the gap with Apple. "Beyond its strongholds of China and Europe, Huawei continued to increase its investment in Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East, to drive further growth," said Anshul Gupta, Senior Research Director at Gartner.
"Huawei also exploited growth opportunities through continued expansion of the Honor series in the second half of 2018, especially in emerging markets, which helped Huawei grow its market share to 13 per cent in 2018," Gupta informed.
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In the fourth quarter, Apple saw iPhone demand weaken in most regions, except North America and mature Asia/Pacific. For 2018 as a whole, iPhone sales were down 2.7 per cent, to just over 209 million units.
"Demand for entry-level and mid-price smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018," said Gupta.