APPLE AND SAMSUNG both suffered a sharp decline in smartphone sales in the fourth quarter as they face growing competition from Chinese upstarts.
That's according to analyst outfit Gartner, at least. The firm's latest figures show that Samsung saw its global market share shrink from 20.9 per cent to 19 per cent globally as its sales dipped 9 per cent year-on-year. Apple suffered a similar setback; it saw its slice of the pie shrink from 14 per cent to 13.4 per cent, with iPhone sales seeing an 11 per cent year-over-year slump.
While bad news for the two market leaders, this decline appears to have benefited Chinse OEMs. Echoing a recent report out of Canalys, Gartner's stats show that Huawei and Oppo saw their market share climb; Huawei from 10.8 to 14. per cent and Oppo from 6.3 to 7.7 per cent. Xiaomi lost one percentage point but still managed to claim 6.8 per cent of global smartphone sales in the quarter.
This growth of Chinese upstarts has been credited for Apple and Samsung's respective declines, with Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, noting that both brands face growing competitions from reasonably-priced Chinese brands.
"Although Samsung is strengthening its smartphone offering at the mid-tier, it continues to face growing competition from Chinese brands that are expanding into more markets," Gupta said.
"Apple has to deal not only with buyers delaying upgrades as they wait for more innovative smartphones, but it also continues to face compelling high-price and midprice smartphone alternatives from Chinese vendors. Both these challenges limit Apple's unit sales growth prospects."
Looking at the global market as a whole, Gartner says that smartphone sales to end users stalled in the fourth quarter of 2018 with total sales 408.4 million units - growth of just 0.1 per cent year-on-year. µ
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