IDC and Counterpoint: 2018 saw first ever smartphone sales decline globally

31 January 2019
Top six companies accumulate 75% of all sales, but only the Chinese makers saw an increase.

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Well people had enough of Samsungs and apples with pricetag of 1000+.
Pocophone and simillar phones are great enough.
Noone wants to waste money.
There are lot better things to buy than having a phone which is 0,5 seconds faster in running same app than a xiaomi midranger for 200 bucks.

  • Ash

This is because companies think they can charge ridiculous amounts of money for their devices and consumers will keep buying blindly. Also recent models don't offer anything that would want to make someone with a recent flagship to spend that much money. This coupled with the fact that recent flagships are good enough to keep for 3-4 years without needing to upgrade, so sales will decline due to these factors.

  • Dan

Anonymous, 31 Jan 2019Wow! Nokia HMD 126% YoY Growth. After Nokia 9 and its successor... moreYeah Nokia is doing great. It's doing really well in China which is the most competitive smartphone market.

  • Dan

A 4% decline in shipments is actually better than expected. Smartphone markets in China, America and Europe are saturated. Emerging markets with high populations such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Latin America will be the battlegrounds for growth.

Dastin, 31 Jan 2019This report is strangely selective. 1) Chinese smartphone sales... moreSource for 2) ?

  • Anonymous

Wow! Nokia HMD 126% YoY Growth.
After Nokia 9 and its successor it will be 326% YoY Growth

abigfanoftechs, 31 Jan 2019True. The Galaxy S series are normally priced just below the iP... moreWhich is why I don't think Samsung will be idiots with the price. That would be the dumbest decision that they would make, especially because of the flagging sales of 2018

  • Dastin

This report is strangely selective.
1) Chinese smartphone sales decline ~10% from 440 millions (2017) to 400+ millions (2018).
2) US smartphone sale decline 58% from 183 millions (2017) to 78 millions (2018).

The real story here is dramatic 58% decline of US market from 183 millions to 78 millions, not the slight 10% decline of Chinese sales. [Chinese sales of 400 millions is still larger than the sum of EU, India and US Markets combined (< 370 millions)].

Just for reference (smartphone markets for 2018):
China ~400+ millions
EU ~145-150 millions
India ~140 millions
US 78 millions

I'm still using smartphones in my daily rotation from THREE YEARS AGO!

Apple iPhone SE
LG V20
LG G5

I can't live without the IR blaster or the headphone jack. Wireless BT headphones that kills battery faster and has its own sealed battery in it is not the answer. I don't want all that radiation.

I'm typing from my V20 now. It's probably still my best all-around phone and my most "complete" phone. I have extra batteries lying around for both LG phones.

I just can't stand the current era. Don't like the trends. I hope smartphone sales do keep declining. It's already saturated. It's similar to laptops in the previous decade.

Most folks buying new phones are buying it because they're really BORED. Not because they actually need it. I was telling my Mom that she can could use her iPhone 6 Plus for years if she just replaced the battery.

Most people should just stick to one phone for as long as you can. Stop wasting money for stuff you don't need because you watch YouTube tech hipsters to buy it. Or in my case, I have a few phones and let it last for as long as they can last.

I went back to console gaming again because I got so bored with mobile. At least they last for several more years. The last great year in mobile really was from THREE YEARS AGO.

Walter C. Dornez, 31 Jan 2019Firstly, those prices are not confirmed and are for the Italian ... moreTrue.
The Galaxy S series are normally priced just below the iPhone. We all know that the S10 series will be priced much higher than the S9, disregarding the Italian prices.
If we look at the current situation with iPhone X/S/R, even their usual fanatic fans are not upgrading. I just can't see the Galaxy S fans, who has more Android buying options, will spend/upgrade if priced similarly to the iPhone.

abigfanoftechs, 31 Jan 2019This is really bad timing for Samsung to bring out their mega-pr... moreHowever, you are right that lower prices need to happen. Unless I'm getting everything, from the case to the screen protector, in the box, no phone should be over$900

abigfanoftechs, 31 Jan 2019This is really bad timing for Samsung to bring out their mega-pr... moreFirstly, those prices are not confirmed and are for the Italian prices, which are almost always a lot more than other countries
Second, it's not the price necessarily, it's the lack of justification for the price. The Mate 20 Pro is an excellent example of this.

  • Bewildered

abigfanoftechs, 31 Jan 2019This is really bad timing for Samsung to bring out their mega-pr... more5G is already being rolled out.

If you are already on 2 year contract to invest in another 4G phone now means to delay yourself a 5G phone until 2021.

There isn't a pressing need to automatically upgrade ever 2 years so I won't be surprised if Huawei increased sales is due to people who have held their handsets for a number of years ang 5G adoption is in the near future.

My delayed purchase is for 5G

BTW the Apple v Qualcomm court case reported here may delay 2019 5G Apple iPhone unless Apple sources the 5G (SoC) modem from Intel

It will be interesting in September if Apple will take a sales hit if they are forced to release another 4G iPhone

Tell yourself that Apple is only selling flagships... 208 million is super impressive!

Mart, 31 Jan 2019Chines companies are doing well because they don't charge astron... moreBecause they don't pay a cent in R&D maybe?
If you looked at Samsung's Q4 results, their IM (IT & Mobile) business got them 23G$ in income, but just 1.5G$ in profit. That's just a 6% profit margin.

  • Anonymous

Samsung's sales declined more than iphone

  • Anonymous

Mart, 31 Jan 2019Chines companies are doing well because they don't charge astron... moreOppo and vivo are overpriced

  • Anna

Simple thing Price! If $200-300 phone can do the 90% of stuff done on $1000 phone, why someone will pay $1000 for the phone every year. One can change $300 phone every year but can't do the same with later. After Apple charged $1000 for iPhone X, all other OEMs blindly fololwed it & increased their prices without realising the market conditions. All OEMs had became too lazy to update their old phones & greedy to increase the price by $100 every year.

  • Anonymous

Price. The buyers are spoilt with choice.

Some company factor in lawsuits, R&D into their products.. while some others simply copy, sell cheaper and continue to break the market.

Sell cheaper may give you quick boost in sales.. but it will decline fast if you can’t keep up.

Ultimately it will lead to even more cut cost cut corners.. and generic phones.. which will hurt the buyers..

  • Anonymous

Huawei did crazy good taking into account everyone else is losing sales year on year.

They are gaining 33% year on year!!