According to Canalys, global smartphone shipments fell 6.8 percent in Q1 2019 to 313.9 million. The research firm noted that this is the sixth straight quarter that global smartphone shipments shrank. Interestingly, the top five smartphone manufacturers increased their combined market share from 66.8 percent in Q1 2018 to 72 percent in Q1 2019.
Most companies in the top five felt the shrinking smartphone market. Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi all saw their respective market shares decrease year-over-year, though Samsung and Xiaomi retained their top and fourth spots, respectively.
Apple saw the greatest decrease in smartphone shipments — 52.2 million in Q1 2018 versus 40.2 million in Q1 2019. Talking with TechCrunch, Canalys analyst Ben Stanton said this was “the largest single-quarter decline in the history of the iPhone.” According to Stanton, China proved to be a tough market as iPhone shipments decreased in the U.S.
The only companies in the top five that came away unscathed were Huawei and Oppo — the latter saw a modest 6.2 percent increase in smartphone shipments. Huawei came out the winner, seeing a dramatic 50.2 percent increase in smartphone shipments. The sharp uptick allowed Huawei to push Apple out of the number two spot.
Huawei’s trek toward the number one spot won’t be easy, however. Samsung launched its revamped Galaxy A and cost-sensitive M-series smartphones to fend off competitors in the low- to mid-range markets. We also can’t count out Xiaomi and Oppo, which are performing well in India and have an increased presence in Europe.