Apple Gains Share of Shrinking Smartphone Market

by Dominic Parks May 3, 2018, 14:10
Apple Gains Share of Shrinking Smartphone Market

Vendors shipped a total of 334.3 million units in the first three months of 2018 compared to 344.3 million units a year earlier, with volumes in China dipping below 100 million for the first time since the third quarter of 2013, attributed by IDC to the lack of new smartphone converts. While its high-end smartphones are popular in China, the bulk of its shipments are of the more affordable class of smartphones, and it also introduced a few new models in the low-end and mid-range segments.

The smartphone is still the main hub of the Internet of Things and the market may be approaching somewhat of a saturation point. "The efforts have been realised as the performance of Chinese brands in MEA, Europe and the rest of the Asian markets has been strong", said Research Analyst Shobhit Srivastava. Outside of the new flagships, the A series and J series continued to drive most of the key volume in both developed and emerging markets. The company stands at the fourth position, with a market share of 8.4 percent, which is nearly double as compared to 4.3 percent in Q1 2017. It captured 15.1% market share, up from 14.4% a year earlier, slightly shaving Samsung Electronic's (005930KS) first-place share, from 22.7% a year earlier to 22.6% last quarter. Oppo and Vivo now hold the market share of 6.1% and 5.4%, respectively.

Fifth and sixth position are held by two other Chinese firms Oppo and Vivo, but neither have been able to expand beyond their homeland.

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Xiaomi remained one of the fastest growing brands (+101 percent) in Q1 2018, driven by strong sales in both China (+51 percent) and India (+134 percent). OPPO, vivo, Samsung in the top 10 smartphone category reported declines in Q1 2018.

As backed up by yesterday's release of Apple's financial results from the last quarter and Tim Cook's assertion that the iPhone X is loved despite its high price tag because it offers value (something we heard from GfK as well at the just-concluded IFA GPC), the iPhone generally did well in the last quarter and gave Android device makers a run for their money as well as keep that long-running Samsung-Apple duopoly at the top of the smartphone charts going. On the contrary, brands like Samsung, OPPO and Vivo reported declines in Q1 2018. The bad news is that global smartphone shipments are falling. The Lenovo brand declined in India and in rest of APAC, while Motorola continued to do well in LATAM and U.S. smartphone markets. ZTE and Sony are part of the top 10 smartphone makers list prepared by IHS Markit. The US component ban from the US government will take a toll on the company's smartphone shipments in the coming quarters. The company is also doing well in the feature phone market. Perhaps the brands anticipated this and have shown a much stronger sales results in regions like India, Middle East, East Asia and Africa.

Transsion Holdings the group company for iTel, Tecno and Infinix brands, together accounted for over 10 million smartphones shipped during the quarter.

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