In the third quarter of 2018, Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi, helped drive global smartphone sales, according to Gartner, Inc. Apple’s performance was flat in the period with 0.7% growth.
Overall, sales of smartphones to end users grew 1.4% in the third quarter of 2018 to reach 389 million units.
“Apple’s iPhones are facing a saturated premium smartphone market, with slowing growth rates and increased competition in China,” says Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Apple’s new flagship smartphones, announced in September, will be key to defining Apple’s overall iPhone unit sales in 2018. Initial channel checks suggest that the Xs Max is outselling the Xs model, and we also see the Xs Max as a critical addition for the Chinese market where Apple has been losing share.”
Samsung, too, is facing some difficulties. In the third quarter of 2018, the company experienced its biggest decline since Gartner has been tracking smartphone sales globally. Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 14% in the third quarter. Samsung’s Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9 struggled to revive demand in 2018, and its revamped midtier and entry-tier smartphones continued to face huge competition from top Chinese brands who grew market share in key markets, such as India, and their expansion into regions beyond Asia/Pacific continues to take away opportunities from Samsung.