Huawei is jumping into the tough smartphone market ahead of Apple. China-based Huawei outsold Apple’s iPhones in the first quarter of this year, taking second place for the California company in a tightening Samsung-dominated smartphone market, a tracker said Tuesday.
According to preliminary data from the Chinese-owned International Data Corporation, a total of 310.8 million smartphones were shipped worldwide during the first three months of this year in a 6.6 percent decline from the same period in 2018.
For global smartphone shipments, it was the sixth consecutive quarter of decline, the market tracker added. IDC saw the results as a sign that, apart from Huawei’s strong growth, 2019 will be another downward year overall for smartphone shipments.
“It is becoming increasingly apparent that Huawei is a laser focused on increasing its stature in the mobile device world, with smartphones being its leading horse,” said Ryan Reith, director of the IDC mobile device program. “In almost all areas, the smartphone market as a whole continues to be challenged, yet Huawei has been able to grow shipments by 50 %.”
South Korean consumer electronics behemoth Samsung saw smartphone shipments fall in the first quarter by 8.1 percent to 71.9 million. Meanwhile, with 50.3 percent growth, Huawei weighed in to ship 59.1 million smartphones and put it within Samsung’s “striking distance,” according to IDC.
Apple had a challenging first quarter, with iPhone shipments dropping from the previous year to 36.4 million units by a “staggering” 30.2 percent, IDC reported. Price cuts in China were not enough along with favorable trade-in deals to coax people into upgrading to new iPhones, the market tracker said.
For the past quarter, Apple delivered stronger-than-expected financial results as service gains helped offset the slowdown of iPhone sales, sparking a technology giant share rally.
An overall slowdown in the high-end smartphone market has been seen as a symptom of people waiting longer to upgrade to new models and lacking the kind of captivating innovation that inspires them to do just that. “Consumers keep their phones longer than before as newer higher-priced models offer little incentive to shell out the top dollar to upgrade,” IDC Research Manager Anthony Scarsella said.
“In addition, the pending arrival of 5G handsets could have consumers waiting until both networks and devices in 2020 are ready for prime time.”