Smartphone shipments battle to bounce again in fourth quarter

International shipments of smartphones failed to achieve a lot floor within the fourth quarter of 2019, in response to new information from analytics corporations Canalys, Technique Analytics, and IHS Markit.

Smartphone distributors had a tricky yr in 2019. An oversupply of units affected key markets, whereas extra clients determined to hold onto their present telephones. These and different components took a chunk out of shipments for the yr. The vacation-seasoned fourth quarter might have provided contemporary indicators of life. However new stories from Canalys, Technique Analytics, and IHS Markit present that smartphone shipments for 2019’s ultimate quarter had been combined at greatest.

SEE: Smartphones and Cellular Tech (TechRepublic Flipboard journal)

Canalys painted the brightest image, saying that international smartphone shipments rose 1% final quarter to 369 million, the second consecutive quarter of progress. Buoyed by heavy demand for the iPhone 11 lineupApple took the lead by delivery 78 million models, beating arch-rival Samsung, which Canalys reported shipped 71 million telephones, together with the Galaxy Word 10.

Huawei got here in third place, although its shipments declined for the quarter. Subsequent within the prime 5 had been Xiaomi and Oppo, which each noticed their smartphone shipments and market share improve. Rising markets performed an enormous position for the distributors that did effectively within the quarter.


“Chinese language distributors had been notably diligent in growing areas over the previous quarter,” Canalys Analysis Analyst Shengtao Jin stated in a press launch. “Smartphones beneath $100 have been a significant focus, as distributors focused the put in base of customers nonetheless utilizing function telephones. Vivo, for instance, had distinctive success with a budget Y91C in Indonesia this quarter. Apple additionally noticed success in rising areas because the cheaper iPhone 11 tempted a broader base of consumers than it’s used to.”

Smartphone market in India

The smartphone market in India began slowly in 2019 however completed with a increase as shipments hit 39 million within the fourth quarter, up from 30 million in the identical quarter for 2018, in response to Canalys. Xiaomi led the market in India final quarter as its shipments rose by 13% to 11.2 million models. Samsung held onto its second-place perch though its fourth-quarter smartphone shipments in India dropped by 7% to eight.1 million. In third place was Vivo, adopted by Realme and Oppo.

Although not within the prime 5 in India’s smartphone market, Apple achieved its greatest quarter ever by delivery nearly 925,000 telephones within the nation, a acquire of greater than 200% from the prior yr’s quarter. Canalys pegged Apple’s acquire on a less expensive iPhone 11 and pleasure round its twin and triple cameras.

“India has pulled via this yr,” Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary stated in a press launch. “Whereas the present slowdown continues to shroud the market with a lot uncertainty, the end-of-year surge saved the market from an in any other case poor first-half efficiency. On-line gross sales have been a silver lining, with distributors boosting sell-in to on-line retailers Flipkart and Amazon through unique tie-ups.”

Technique Analytics was much less upbeat concerning the fourth quarter, seeing international smartphone shipments as primarily rising zero p.c to 374.5 million from 376 million in the identical quarter in 2018. The agency stated that international smartphone demand stays combined for now as sharp declines in China had been balanced by sturdy demand throughout India and Africa.

For the quarter, Apple snagged the highest spot with smartphone shipments of 70.7 million, leaving Samsung in second place with 68.8 million, in response to Technique Analytics. That put Huawei in third place with 56 million shipments, adopted by Xiaomi and Oppo.

Technique Analytics

“This was Apple’s greatest progress efficiency since 2015,” Neil Mawston, govt director at Technique Analytics, stated in a press launch. “Apple is recovering, attributable to cheaper iPhone 11 pricing and more healthy demand in Asia and North America…Samsung’s international market share stayed flat at 18%, the identical degree as a yr in the past. Samsung continues to carry out comparatively effectively throughout all price-bands, from the entry degree to premium fashions resembling Galaxy Word 10+ 5G.”

Lastly, IHS Markit’s evaluation of final quarter’s international smartphone shipments was essentially the most adverse of the bunch. For the quarter, shipments dropped by 359.2 million, a decline of 1.5% from 364.8 million within the fourth quarter of 2018.

IHS Markit

IHS positioned Samsung in first place for the quarter with smartphone shipments of 70.7 million and a market share of 20%. That put Apple within the second spot with shipments of 67.7 million and a 19% slice of the market. Following within the prime 5 had been Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo.

“Samsung’s concentrate on the mid-range paid dividends in 2019, serving to the corporate to fend off international competitors from Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo,” Gerrit Schneemann, senior analyst for smartphones at IHS Markit, stated in a press launch.


Projections for 2020 had been a bit extra optimistic. Smartphones are extra essential than ever, in response to Canalys, which stated that declines don’t imply that individuals are utilizing smartphones much less. Nevertheless, Technique Analytics pointed to sure boundaries for smartphone progress this yr, resembling US commerce wars and the China coronavirus scare. After all, 5G can be one other consider 2019.

5G smartphones are a key pattern, IHS stated. Shipments of 5G telephones might not be large sufficient to dramatically enhance the market. However the brand new taste of mobile expertise ought to excite a bigger variety of markets and can current extra selections to consumers. Chipset distributors have already introduced decrease costs on 5G system-on-chip units, IHS added, serving to the smartphone trade in its effort to trim the excessive costs of 5G smartphones.

The iPhone 11 lineup helped Apple’s gross sales in This autumn.
Picture: Apple

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