Tuesday 5 December 2023

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner

Global sales of smartphones up 1.3pc in Q1

DUBAI, June 24, 2018

Global sales of smartphones to end users saw growth in the first quarter of 2018 with a 1.3 per cent increase over the same period in 2017, according to a report by research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.

Compared to the first quarter of 2017 sales of total mobile phones stalled and reached 455 million units in the first quarter of 2018, said the report by Gartner, titled “Market Share: Final PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, All Countries, 1Q18 Update”.

Nearly 384 million smartphones were sold in the first quarter of 2018, representing 84 per cent of total mobile phones sold, it added.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said: “Demand for premium and high-end smartphones continued to suffer due to marginal incremental benefits during upgrade.”

“Demand for entry-level smartphones (sub-$100) and low midtier smartphones (sub-$150) improved due to better-quality models,” he added.

Continued weakness in Greater China's mobile phone market also limited growth potential for the top global brands, including Chinese brands such as Oppo and Vivo, with over 70 per cent of their sales coming from Greater China, it said.

Samsung's midtier smartphones faced continued competition from Chinese brands, which led to unit sales contraction year on year. This is despite the earlier launch of its flagship Galaxy S9/S9+ compared to the S8/S8+ in 2017, and despite the Note 8 having a positive impact on Samsung sales in the first quarter of 2018.

Samsung's smartphone growth rate will remain under pressure through 2018, with Chinese brand's growing dominance and expansion into Europe and Latin America markets. Samsung is challenged to   raise the average selling price (ASP) of its smartphones, while facing increasing competition from Chinese brands that are taking more market share.

The delayed sales boost for Apple from last quarter materialised. Apple's smartphone unit sales returned to growth in the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of 4 per cent year on year.

Gupta continued: “Even though demand for Apple's iPhone X exceeded that of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the vendor struggled to drive significant smartphone replacements, which led to slower-than-expected growth in the first quarter of 2018.”

“With its exclusive focus on premium smartphones, Apple needs to significantly raise the overall experience of its next-generation iPhones to trigger replacements and lead to solid growth in the near future,” he said.

Whereas, Huawei's refreshed smartphone portfolio helped strengthen its No. 3 global smartphone vendor position, said the report.

Gupta said: “Achieving 18.3 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2018 helped Huawei close the gap with Apple.”

“However, its future growth increasingly depends on the vendor ramping up share in Emerging Asia/Pacific and resolving issues in the US market, through the development of a stronger consumer brand. Huawei's attempt to grow its premium smartphone portfolio with its recent launches of the P20, P20 Pro and Honor 10 helps raise its competitiveness and growth potential,” he added.

Additionally, Xiaomi was the clear winner of the first quarter, achieving a growth of 124 per cent year on year. The company refreshed portfolio of smartphones and aggressive pricing strategy helped it hold the No. 4 spot in the first quarter of 2018, said the report.

Gupta said: “This strategy led Xiaomi to achieve 330 per cent growth in the Emerging Asia/Pacific region.”

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Google's Android and Apple's iOS achieved growth in units in the first quarter of 2018, but Android saw its share slightly contract, stated the report. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: | Sales | global | Smartphones | Q1 |

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