According to the IHS Market research group's preliminary smartphone data, global smartphone shipments reached 344.6 million units in the second quarter of 2018 – a 1.8% decline year-over-year, and also down slightly from the previous quarter.
Huawei beat Apple, to reach the second-ranked position in global shipments. While Samsung retains the top spot in the shipment ranking, the company recorded its worst quarterly performance since the second quarter of 2013.
Out of the major brands in the market, Samsung suffered the biggest decline in the second quarter. Samsung’s shipments declined 10.8% year-over-year falling to 70.8 million units. The company’s shipments were also down 9.2% quarter over quarter. “Samsung is struggling to fight off the competition with its Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus devices, and the company needs the next Galaxy Note to deliver in the latter part of the year,” says Gerrit Schneemann, senior research analyst, smartphones, IHS Markit. “Samsung has been facing severe competition from Chinese manufacturers, especially Huawei and Xiaomi. These two brands have been disturbing Samsung’s smartphone sales in Europe and Asia.
Huawei grew over the previous year in most regions, except in North America. The Asia-Pacific region posted the biggest growth in the second quarter, rising 107% year-over-year, while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recorded more than 60% growth.
Apple shipment volume stayed flat, with just 0.7% year-over-year growth, rising slightly to 41.3 million units. While Apple sold six iPhone models in the second quarter of 2017, this year the company sold nine models. However, this increase in the number of models didn’t contribute much to unit-shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018, says Schneemann.
iPhone revenue grew 20% in the second quarter of 2018, compared to the previous year, which indicates that higher-priced models continue to be popular. The decline in iPhone unit shipments between the first and second quarters of 2018 is similar to the decline during the same time frame last year. New iPhone models coming this year could complete Apple’s hardware design update, with all new models featuring notch-type displays, says Schneemann.