IDC has released a new report revealing the number of smartphones shipped by smartphone manufacturers during quarter one of 2019.  From the beginning of the year to the end of March, 310.8 million phones were shipped.  This report also showed that the decline in the number of phones shipped every year still continues.  In 2017, the number of units shipped declined by 3.5% in comparison to the previous year. In 2018, there was a 4.1% decline and this year we have a decline of 6.6%.

Smartphone companies in the US have experienced the worst decline over the past 3 years.  Shipment from US-based manufactures has been declining by 15% every year.

According to Anthony Scarsella, The IDC research manager, consumers are holding on to their current phones for longer because they are not getting enough incentives that attract them to newer, higher priced models.

Samsung still remains at the number one spot.  It shipped a total of 71.9 million units in the first quarter of 2019.  Huawei takes the second spot, shipping a total of 59.1 units.  This was a 50.3% increase compared to the units the Chinese phone maker shipped in the previous year.  This happened despite the many disputes the company had with the United State government.

Apple took the 3rd position, shipping a total of 36.4 million units. However, this is 30% less of the number of units Apple was able to ship during the first quarter of 2018.

Based on the current trends, I predict that Huawei may get to the first position if Samsung and Apple don’t change tactic.  Samsung has already taken action that may help it retain its position as the market leader by launching the new Galaxy A series that cuts across all market segments.  They have catered for the budget shoppers, a group of people that it had neglected for a long time.

For a long time, Apple appealed to high-end shoppers. But Samsung and Huawei have launched outstanding flagships in the recent past that have attracted people who were loyal to the Apple brand. Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro are perfect examples of flagships that can turn the heads of Apple’s loyal fans. Although Samsung may regain the budget market that it once dominated with its new phones (Samsung Galaxy A10, A20, A30, A40, A50, etc.), it must look over its shoulders since its clear Huawei is after the #1 position.

Apple is not the only company that is feeling the heat. Xiaomi and Oppo shipments decreased too.  Xiaomi took the fourth position but saw a 10.2% drop. Oppo suffered a 6% drop.

Huawei has seen tremendous growth in the recent past. Huawei had announced that it aims to become the number one phone maker by 2021 and there is no doubt that it is doing everything it can to achieve this goal. And judging from its current success, Huawei may achieve this goal sooner than expected.



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