Counterpoint said India remains a key growth market as the shipments set a second-quarter record, growing to 37 million units during the second quarter of 2019.
Global smartphone shipments fell 1.2 per cent to 360 million units in the second quarter of 2019, making it the seventh consecutive quarter of decline, research firm Counterpoint said on Wednesday. A total of 364.3 million units were shipped in the April-June 2018 quarter globally. The research firm attributed the slowdown to sluggish sales in China.
“The smartphone market slowdown is mainly due to China, which has continued to decline for two years now. China alone accounts for over one-fourth of the global smartphone shipments and declined 9 per cent year-on-year during the quarter,” it said. The heightened US-China trade war during the quarter has further escalated the uncertainties of the smartphone market, it added. Counterpoint said India remains a key growth market as the shipments set a second-quarter record, growing to 37 million units during the second quarter of 2019.
“The US-China trade war escalated with Huawei added in the entity list in May. Despite the ban, Huawei was able to register a 4.6 per cent growth during the quarter, capturing a 16 per cent market share. The effect of the ban did not translate into falling shipments during this quarter, which will not be the case in the future,” Counterpoint Research Associate Director Tarun Pathak said.
He added that Huawei is likely to be aggressive in its home market in the coming quarters and register some growth there, but it will not be enough to offset for the decline in its overseas shipments. “This will further lead to the decline of the overall smartphone market in 2019. However, the gap created in the market by Huawei gives a window of opportunity to other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), especially Samsung, to leverage,” he noted.
Also, a portion of the decline in 2019 is likely to be compensated by the adoption of 5G, Counterpoint said. “We expect sales of 5G devices to be over 20 million in 2019. Network expansion of carriers, subsidies, and more OEMs committing to early 5G device launches than during the early 4G era,” Counterpoint Research Analyst Varun Mishra said.
Samsung led the tally with shipment of 76.6 million units, followed by Huawei (56.7 million units) and Apple (36.4 million) in the second quarter of 2019. The combined global smartphone market share of Chinese majors Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme reached 42 per cent in the April-June 2019 quarter, the highest ever. “Heavy marketing, faster portfolio refresh, high spec devices at aggressive prices, and multi-channel presence are some of the key reasons why Chinese brands fared better than the local and global OEMs,” Mishra said.
Their strategies and product portfolios are more aligned to the local needs and preferences, which is one of their key strengths, he added. BBK Group, which runs brands like OnePlus, Oppo, Realme and Vivo, is now the second-largest smartphone manufacturer globally, Counterpoint said.