China Slump Drags Down Global Smartphone Shipments By 2.9 Percent YoY in 1Q 2018, IDC Says
Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.3 million units during the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), resulting in a 2.9 percent decline when compared to the 344.4 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2017 according to preliminary data from the International Data Corp.’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
"Globally, as well as in China, a key bellwether, smartphone consumers are trading up to more premium devices, but there are no longer as many new smartphone converts, resulting in shipments dropping," said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "When we look at it from a dollar value perspective, the smartphone market is still climbing and will continue to grow over the years to come as consumers are increasingly reliant on these devices for the bulk of their computing needs."
The China market was the biggest driver of this decline with shipment volumes dipping below 100 million in the quarter, a market factor which has not occurred since the third quarter of 2013.
"Despite new flagships from the likes of Samsung and Huawei, along with the first full quarter of iPhone X shipments, consumers looked unwilling to shell out big money for the latest and greatest devices on the market," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
The abundance of ultra-high-end flagships with big price tags released over the past 12-18 months has most likely halted the upgrade cycle in the near term, according to Scarsella. “It now looks as if consumers are not willing to shell out this kind of money for a new device that brings minimal upgrades over their current device,” he said. “Looking forward, more affordable premium devices might be the solution the market needs in the second half of the year to drive shipments back in a positive direction."
IDC’s report also included highlights on the top five smartphone companies:
- Samsung remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market grabbing a 23.4 market share despite experiencing a 2.4 percent decline from Q1 2017. 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+. Although the new flagships shipped late in the quarter, brisk initial sales of the new devices kept the overall yearly decline at a minimum as the bulk of the positive impact is expected to arrive in Q2 2018.
- Apple's first quarter saw the iPhone maker move 52.2 million iPhones representing a modest 2.8 percent YoY increase from the 50.8 million units shipped last year. Despite rumors of an underperforming iPhone X in the quarter, Apple stated that the iPhone X was the most popular model each week in the March quarter.
- Huawei climbed to a new market share high of 11.8 percent even as it remained in third overall. Huawei has toed the line between maintaining a strong domestic position while slowly upscaling its brand image in international markets with dividends paying off as it beat the average global growth rate, reaching 13.8 percent year over year.
- Xiaomi's strong performance has no doubt been due to its strong growth outside of China with 1Q18 the first quarter that less than half of its shipments were domestic, a transition that very few Chinese companies have reached. Xiaomi continues its retail expansion in India and Southeast Asia; however online channels remain the key contributor in India, its second largest market.
- OPPO held the fifth position with its year-over-year decline of 7.5 percent; more a result of the China slowdown than of its performance overseas, as both share and shipment volumes abroad increased in the first quarter. OPPO has also pruned some of its retail partnerships to focus on those with higher contribution to sales.
(For more information visit https://www.idc.com).