Smartphone Shipments Decline 2.3 Percent in 2Q19
Worldwide smartphones shipments declined 2.3% year over year in the second quarter of 2019 for the strongest quarterly performance since 2Q18, according to IDC. Vendors shipped a total of 333.2 million phones in 2Q19, which was up 6.5% over the previous quarter.
Challenges were seen across many markets with China and the United States experiencing the sharpest quarterly declines. However, the declines in China during the first half of 2019 have been less severe than the second half of 2018, suggesting some recovery is underway in the world's largest single market. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) continued the strong momentum from 2018 with shipments up more than 3% in the quarter fueled by growth across India and many Southeast Asia markets.
The vendor landscape at the top of the market continues to get stronger while the struggles for local OEMs and old school industry names got worse. In 2Q19, the top 5 vendors accounted for 69% of the total market volume, and the top 10 vendors accounted for 87%. This trend is making the vendor playing field for smartphones look more and more like the PC market. With 5G beginning to unfold in many markets around the world, the challenges are sure to increase for any vendors without strong consumer mindshare.
Samsung maintained the top position in the market for 2Q19 and returned to annual growth of 5.5% with a total of 75.5 million smartphones shipped. The company struggled to sell flagship devices as many consumers are holding onto devices longer than ever and opting for a less expensive replacement option.
Huawei saw its shipment volumes decline 0.6% when compared to 1Q19, which could be regarded as better than expected given U.S.-China trade tensions. Shipment volumes in China hit an all-time high and accounted for 62% of Huawei's 2Q19 total with 36.4 million units.
Apple shipped 33.8 million new iPhones during 2Q19, which was down significantly from the same quarter a year ago. However, when factoring in the success of the iPhone upgrade program as well as Apple's ability to sell more refurbished iPhones through its channels, the argument can easily be made that its position in the market is still dominant.
Xiaomi experienced a small decline during the quarter with a total of 32.3 million smartphones shipped. Xiaomi is still facing challenges in returning to positive growth in China in part due to increased competition from Huawei. It continues to expand its offline network and aims to have 10,000 retail stores by the end of 2019.
OPPO performed well in China and India, which together accounted for nearly three-quarters of its shipments in 2Q19. India remains an important market for OPPO in the Asia/Pacific region, especially as Huawei ramps up its efforts in China.
Top 5 Smartphone Companies, 2Q19 (shipments in millions)