Smartphone sales take a fall

Continues long losing streak.

Global smartphone shipments have fallen for the seventh consecutive quarter in Q2, even with limited impact from the US Huawei ban.

According to preliminary data from IHS Markit, shipments declined 3.6%, with only four brands among the top-10, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO and TCL Alcatel, attaining year-over-year growth during the quarter.

While Huawei has yet to impact the smartphone market to any extent during the second quarter, it may have a negative effect on Q3 results. Shipments in Q2 for the company were down less than 1% in Q2 with market share rising to 18%, up 2% from a year earlier.

“In terms of smartphones, Huawei been able to weather the storm so far,” IHS analysis director, Jusy Hong said. “Huawei was one of the few smartphone makers to buck the overall negative trend in the market in the second quarter and able to replace falling international shipments with increased sales in China. However, the full effects of the ban will likely be felt by Huawei’s international business in the third quarter of this year.”

Samsung maintained its top ranking increasing shipments 6% year-over-year with the tech giant’s market share increasing to 23% in Q2, up 2% from a year ago.

“For Samsung, it will be important to continue focusing on the application of new and innovative technologies to broader parts of its portfolio,” she said. “Effective competition with Chinese makers will rely on fast execution and agile adjustments. In the latter part of the year, Samsung’s global scale and broad product portfolio should help it pick up share from Huawei in Europe and Latin America, where a prolonged period of uncertainty surrounding the Huawei brand can impact consumer behavior negatively.”

And Apple, despite being more aggressive with its promotional activities, is facing two key challenges: super-premium pricing for its latest models and insufficient price elasticity in its older models to drive significant additional shipments of two-to-three-year-old devices. Apple unit shipments were down 14.6% from a year ago, according to IHS. Apple announced that its iPhone revenue declined 11.8% in Q2 compared to a year earlier, largely due to increasing trade-in promotions in many markets.

For many other smartphone brands, business conditions continue to be difficult, with few signs of a silver lining on the horizon. LG continues to struggle with its mobile handset business, with its smartphone shipments declining 21% in Q2, following a 24% year-over-year drop in Q1.

“LG seems to have lost out to Xiaomi, OPPO, OnePlus and Samsung during the 5G rollout in Europe,” Hong said. Motorola shipments also fell, down 17% in Q2.

Huawei is second in the rankings behind Samsung, with Apple sitting at number four and LG on seven, just ahead of Motorola.

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