We’re officially in a global smartphone slump for the fourth straight quarter

Q3 2018 smartphone shipments are in: how much longer before Huawei claims top spot?

The latest analyst figures for global smartphone shipments show the market for the devices is now in a recession. Xiaomi ranked 4th with a 9% global market share for the period on the global list, but was 38.1% behind Oppo and Vivo which both acquired 21% in-China shipment share on the domestic list.

Samsung is still the world's biggest manufacturer with 70.9 million shipments, but this is down 15 per cent year-on-year with the firm's market share falling to 20 per cent amid intense competition from Chinese firms.

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said: "Global smartphone shipments tumbled 8 per cent annually from 393.1 million units in Q3 2017 to 360.0 million in Q3 2018". The Chinese firm shipped 51.8 million units in the third quarter.

Lenovo, a Chinese brand well-known for PC technology, saw a 26% decline in shipment units, and a 25% decline in shipment market share. The market share leader continues to feel pressure from all directions, especially with Huawei inching closer to the top after its second consecutive quarter as the number two vendor.

Worldwide shipments of smartphones, still the most dominant of internet-connected devices, declined 6% compared to past year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

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Trailing behind Apple on the list is Xiaomi with 33 million units, up 19.1 percent on a year ago and increasing its market share to 9.2 percent, and Oppo's 31.2 million units, down 0.6 percent but increasing the market share to 8.7 percent.

"The brands will further expand outside China as they push into Asia Pacific countries and Europe", he added. Shipments rose by 0.5 per cent to 46.9 million units but revenue rose by 29 per cent thanks to the price tag of the recently-launched iPhone XS and XS Max. However, this also presents long-term growth opportunities for OEMs with many entering such markets to grow their sales.

This is also affecting local smartphone players in the emerging economies, that are struggling to maintain a foothold, said Shobhit.

The next growth cycle will likely be driven by the emergence of 5G which is expected to be commercially available sometime next year.

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