With a market share of 59.1% in Q1 2019, Huawei has overtaken Apple (42%) to become the second leading smartphone vendor in the world
The report attributes Huawei’s success to a bevy of innovative features like reverse wireless charging, on-board AI and advanced camera
Global smartphone shipment numbers saw a slump for the sixth straight quarter, with a decline of 5% in Q1 2019, according to a report by Counterpoint Research. All major brands, including Samsung and Apple, were hit by the slowdown. However, some Chinese OEMs like Huawei, Vivo and Oppo seem to have weathered the storm better. Huawei was the fastest growing of all with a 50% year-on-year (YoY) increase in shipments, while Vivo grew by 27% and Oppo by 10%.
With a market share of 59.1% in Q1 2019, Huawei has overtaken Apple (42%) to become the second leading smartphone vendor in the world. This is despite the fact that Huawei has no significant presence in the US, one of the most important smartphone markets worldwide. While Samsung saw a YoY decline of 8%, it remains at the top of the market with 72% market share. Its revenue also grew on account of increased sales of the Galaxy S10, the report said.
Further, the report attributes Huawei’s success to a bevy of innovative features like reverse wireless charging, on-board AI and advanced camera. “A dual-brand strategy (Honor brand) has helped Huawei build a youth connect and gain market share in a sluggish Chinese market. Huawei is now a match for Samsung in smartphone hardware. We believe it is Huawei that Samsung should be worrying about rather than Apple," said Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst, Counterpoint in a press statement.
Apple’s iPhone shipments declined for the second consecutive quarter and the report points out that it is going to be more difficult for Apple to grow its ASP’s (average selling price) with China remaining a declining market for it. The growth potential for premium products may be difficult in upcoming quarters as well. The iPhone XR was the highest-selling iPhone in Q1, 2019.
With 27.8% market share, Xiaomi was the fourth biggest smartphone OEMs, followed closely by Chinese rivals Oppo (26.5%) and Vivo (24%).
Commenting on the slump in the smartphone shipments, Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research said, “The rate of decline came down, particularly in February, due to inventory correction by some brands and the production halt during Chinese New Year."
Another reason for the decline is lengthening replacement cycles, particularly in the premium segment. The replacement rate for iPhones is reaching close to 36 months and for premium Android phones it close to 30 months. This can be attributed to the higher quality of devices, increasing average selling price (ASP), and the lack of innovative technology, rues Pathak.
Experts are of the opinion that attempts by some smartphone OEMs to bring foldable screens to market as soon as possible was driven by the desire to get buyers to switch to new phones quickly. Some even believe that foldable screens will have smaller replacement cycles, resulting in faster upgrades by users. However, after the reports of Samsung Galaxy Fold screen breakdown and the holding bank of the release by company, there is going to be a greater scrutiny of foldable screen phones.