Global smartphone market declines in Q1 2018, Samsung leads: IDC

Posted May 05, 2018

Xiaomi's smartphone sales hit a road bump in 2015-16 after domestic rivals like Huawei and Oppo copied its low-priced strategy, while doubling down on offline advertisements.

ZTE, however, dropped a spot on the top-ten list, and shipped half as many phones as it did past year.

Premiere Chinese brand Huawei also saw increases in the first quarter of 2018, increasing its sales by 13.8 percent.

Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 344.4 million smartphones worldwide in Q1 2018, down 2.9 percent from the 344.4 million units in Q1 2017. The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus shipped 12.5 and 8.3 million units to take second and third place, respectively.

As a ripple effect, the significant growth from India and remarkable history from China are apparently helping Xiaomi reach new levels all across the globe.

Xiaomi, Lenovo and Samsung were the top three brands on Flipkart as well as Amazon in 2017.

However, don't let those numbers paint a sad picture, as from a dollar value perspective the smartphone market is still on the rise, and likely will continue to be for the next several years.

Billions of people all over the world use smartphones and this means they can access the internet on the go.

"Samsung is holding steady in its core markets of North America, Western Europe, and South Korea, but the company is facing intense competitive pressure in China and India from rivals such as Xiaomi".

The new S9 and S9+ led the way as the new flagships launched a quarter early for the Korean giant compared to last year's S8/S8+.

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. It is assumed that this is due to the price tags of new products.

Smartphone shipments from Oppo and Vivo, on the other hand, declined for the second consecutive quarter, although both companies delivered double-digit growth until the third quarter of 2017. The company posted solid first quarter results this week in part because it offset a soft 3 percent gain in iPhone sales with an 11 percent year-over-year increase in the average selling prices.

"Xiaomi continues its retail expansion in India and Southeast Asia; however online channels remain the key contributor in India, its second largest market", the IDC report noted.

“There have been no signs of recovery since the market started to decline in Q4 a year ago, ” said Rushabh Doshi, Research Manager at Canalys.

China, the most populous country in the world, is also the largest smartphone market in the world.

Even though Huawei shipments grew year-over-year, the company also had a troubled first quarter in the USA this year.

Huawei was denied access to the United States market but still managed to ship 39.3 million units in Q1, grabbing 11.2% of the market.

ZTE's global ranking dropped one place to number nine and its market share dropped from 3.6 percent to 2 percent.