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Global smartphone shipments continue to fall

According to new market research from IHS Markit, global shipments of smart phones continued to fall in the second quarter of 2019, meaning that for seventh consecutive quarter there has been a year-on-year decline.

If that wasn’t bad enough these figures suggest that the impact of the United States’ ban on Huawei has yet to have a significant impact on the market. All of which means that the next quarter could see an eighth quarter of falling sales.

Smartphone shipments declined to 331.2 million units in the second quarter of 2019, down 3.6 percent on last year, according to IHS and the decline in shipments affected the majority of leading brands. Only Samsung Electronics, Huawei, OPPO and TCL Alcatel saw year-on-year growth.

Huawei’s shipments are up over the past year and as a result its market share rose to 18 percent in the second quarter, up 2 percentage points from one year earlier.

Huawei has been able to replace falling international shipments with increased sales in China, but the impact of those falling sales is likely to show up in the next quarter. News that the company has been developing its own operating system is certainly an interesting development and one worth keeping an eye on.

And while the focus has been on Huawei, both Samsung and Apple face challenges of their own.

Samsung has been struggling with the launch of its foldable phone at a time when analysts suggest it needs to be focusing on the application of new and innovative technologies to broader parts of its portfolio and Apple continues to face challenges in terms of unit shipments. Apple shipped 35.3 million iPhones in the second quarter, down 14.6 percent from 41.3 million units one year ago, while its high pricing policy continues to be a drag on sales.

While there have been some successes across the sector, business conditions are expected to remain difficult.

The on-going trade war between the US and China and the growing confrontation between South Korea and Japan add to this volatile mix, suggesting that any signs of a silver lining on the horizon are receding.

Author
Neil Tyler

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