Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Apple's free fall in smartphone market, IDC chart shows

Apple's free fall in smartphone market, IDC chart shows

The X took 5% of all smartphone sales by volume, according to Juha Winter, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Going to the end of a year ago, the heavy hitters of the smartphone market, Samsung and Apple, both offered premium devices that attracted ultra-high pricing. As far as shipments are concerned, the order of top five smartphone manufacturers is the same as in IDC's and Strategy Analytics' reports. "Apple's ultra-premium iPhone X is proving relatively popular in some markets like China and the U.S., while there remains scope for additional expansion in emerging regions such as India and Africa", said Neil Mawston, Executive Director, Strategy Analytics.

Saturating smartphone markets meant the only manufacturers to enjoy growth during the first quarter of 2018 was the Chinese pair of Huawei and Xiaomi. The company stands at the fourth position, with a market share of 8.4 percent, which is nearly double as compared to 4.3 percent in Q1 2017. Xiaomi surpassed OPPO to become the fourth largest smartphone brand in Q1 2018.

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Interestingly enough, out of 28.1 million smartphones that the company shipped, 57-percent of them were shipped to markets outside of Xiaomi's homeland, China. This is due primarily to Xiaomi's growth outside of the Chinese market, with its push for market expansion in India and Southeast Asia.

Notably, Huawei shipments grew 14% YoY in Q1 2018 even though growth in China slowed considerably.

The costly iPhone X combined with sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus helped grow ASPs 11.1 percent to $728, up from $655 previous year.

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The IDC report points to a decline in Chinese smartphone sales as one of the principle drivers of the reduction, which saw smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2018 dropping below 100 million units in the quarter - the lowest number since 2013.

Samsung's new flagships started shipping only during the end of the first quarter, and the sales figures are already quite impressive. Despite the late launch, the high-priced devices should significantly boost average selling prices (ASPs) in the quarter for Samsung. Xiaomi is growing at a vigorous rate in the multiple global markets outside China. However, emerging markets still offer a sizeable opportunity for OEMs to expand and grow as smartphone penetration by users in still around 45 percent. "The city's red-hot IPO market usually sees offerings oversubscribed - sometimes by hundreds of times - as investors borrow heavily to place orders".

Breaking Apple's streak is the Xiaomi Redmi 5A smartphone which secures the fifth position in the list of the highest-selling smartphone during the first three months of the year 2018.

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ZTE continues to face tough competition in high growth markets, which led to declining market share during the quarter.

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