Data from Gartner shows massive decline in Samsung’s smartphone sales
Gartner has released the global smartphone sales data for Q3 2018 and, like other recent reports, it brings bad news for Samsung. Gartner says the South Korean company has seen the biggest decline in sales since it started tracking global smartphone sales data. Though Samsung has once again emerged as the largest smartphone vendor globally, it has seen a huge dip in its sales and market share.
According to Gartner, Samsung’s smartphone sales dropped 14% from 85.6 million units in Q3 2017 to 73.3 million units in Q3 this year. As a result, the company’s market share also took a dive from 22.3% to 18.9% during the same period. Gartner mentions weak demand for Samsung smartphones across categories, including the premium segment populated by the critically-acclaimed Galaxy S9/S9+, Note 9, and others.
Huawei was once again the star performer
Huawei was once again the star performer with a massive 43% year-on-year growth in sales from 36.5 million units to 52.2 million units in the third quarter, resulting in a substantial surge in market share from 9.5% to 13.4%. Apple took the third spot on the list, but its sales (grew by a mere 0.7%) and market share were mostly flat, signaling a possible end to Apple’s dream run. Despite the negligible growth, Apple’s performance is commendable given the mounting market saturation and the price points at which the company operates.
Xiaomi was the fourth largest vendor with 33.2 million units and 8.5% market share, up from 26.9 million units and 7% market share in Q3 last year. OPPO also saw a minor bump in sales from 29.4% million units to 30.6 million units in the quarter and secured the fifth place on the list. Together, the top five vendors accounted for more than 60% market share, leaving very little for dozens of other brands.
Thanks to the performance of Huawei and Xiaomi, overall smartphone sales grew by 1.4% to 389 million units in the quarter. If we exclude both these brands from the list, the smartphone market in Q3 declined by 5.2% year-on-year globally. The data once again demonstrates the rising domination of Chinese brands in the global smartphone market.
Galaxy S10 and the foldable phone are not enough
Samsung is hoping that the upcoming Galaxy S10 and the much-awaited foldable smartphone will halt its decline. But going by Gartner’s observations, it appears these devices will mostly remain a niche and will not have any significant impact on Samsung’s smartphone business as a whole, at least not in terms of unit sales. More worryingly for Samsung, many of the thriving Chinese brands are operating in a limited number of markets currently. As they continue to expand their operations globally in the coming quarters, we can expect Samsung’s troubles in the smartphone market to become worse.