Global smartphone shipments improved in the third quarter, with the industry on track to return to positive growth as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) continued to dominate the market in China, International Data Corp (IDC) said in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report on Thursday last week.
Worldwide smartphone shipments rose 0.8 percent year-on-year and were up 8.1 percent quarter-on-quarter to 358.3 million units last quarter, IDC said.
The figures were compared with 332 million units shipped in the second quarter, when they were down 2.3 percent annually, but up 6.5 percent quarterly, IDC data showed.
“The market returning to positive growth shows the resilience of this industry, as well as the ongoing demand for mobile phones, all in the face of many global macroeconomic challenges,” IDC mobile device program vice president Ryan Reith said in a statement.
The fierce competition in the smartphone market would still have major players on edge, the market researcher said, but added that Huawei last quarter continued to make large gains in China, which remains the world’s largest market and has seen greater consolidation toward the top five domestic brands, including Xiaomi Corp (小米), Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp (歐珀) and Vivo Communication Technology Co (維沃).
Huawei’s shipments grew 28.2 percent annually to 66.6 million units last quarter, with a global market share of 18.6 percent, lagging behind Samsung Electronics Co’s 78.2 million units, which increased 8.3 percent from a year earlier and had a worldwide market share of 21.8 percent, IDC’s data showed.
“Despite facing challenges across many international markets, Huawei doubled down on China in the third quarter,” IDC associate research director Melissa Chau said in the statement. “Samsung benefited the most internationally from Huawei’s woes, ramping up the more affordable A series, while in China the other domestic competitors felt the heat from Huawei.”
Apple Inc was third, with shipments of 46.6 million units last quarter — a 13 percent market share — down 0.6 percent from a year earlier as sales in mature markets faced challenging headwinds, IDC said.
However, strong sales of newer iPhones, specifically the iPhone 11 series and XR model, enabled Apple to capture more market share in important markets such as the US and western Europe, it said.
Overall, the top five brand vendors accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s smartphone shipments for the first time ever last quarter, IDC said, adding that the industry and vendor landscape is still changing amid the ongoing consolidation trend.
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