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Sunday, 18 Aug 2019

Apple lost more ground in the smartphone market last quarter

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News24xx.com -  Apple lost more ground in the shrinking smartphone market last quarter, with a sales tracker saying the tech giant was pushed off the top-three seller list by a Chinese rival.

Apple fell to fourth place in global smartphone sales, shipping 35.3 million iPhones in the second quarter compared to the 36.2 million units shipped by Oppo, according to a report from IHS Markit this week.

South Korean consumer electronics titan Samsung remained in first place with 23 percent of the market, having shipped 75.1 million smartphones, China's Huawei shipped 58.7 million smartphones to claim 18 percent of the market, IHS Markit calculated.

"Apple continues to face challenges in terms of unit shipments -- a trend that is unlikely to be fixed soon," IHS smartphone research and analysis director Jusy Hong said in an online post.

While California-based Apple has been aggressively promoting iPhones, current-generation smartphones have "super-premium" prices while models a few years old are still costly compared to bargain Android-powered handsets, the analyst reasoned.

Other smartphone market trackers such as Counterpoint Research and International Data Corporation concluded that while iPhone shipments sank in the second quarter, Apple remained in third place what it came to global shipments.

Huawei, meanwhile, saw smartphone shipments rise despite the overall market contracting and US-China trade tensions, market trackers reported.

"Apple is stabilizing in China due to price adjustments and buoyant trade-ins, but other major markets such as India and Europe remain challenging for the expensive iPhone," said Woody Oh, director at Strategy Analytics.

A separate report by Counterpoint Research offered similar findings, showing Samsung, Huawei and Apple in the three top spots as overall sales fell.

Analyst Tarun Pathak at Counterpoint said however the US ban on technology sales to Huawei will have an impact in the coming months.

"The effect of the ban did not translate into falling shipments during this quarter, which will not be the case in the future," Pathak said.

Anthony Scarsella of the research firm IDC, which also issued similar findings, said the market is seeing signs of stabilizing.

"A key driver in the second quarter was the availability of vastly improved mid-tier devices that offer premium designs and features while significantly undercutting the ultra-high-end in price," Scarsella said.

"Combine this with intensified and generous trade-in programs across major markets and channels, and upgrading now makes more sense to consumers."

The surveys indicated Chinese makers Xiaomi and Oppo holding the fourth and fifth spots, largely due to sales in their home markets.

According to Counterpoint, the combined global smartphone market share of Chinese majors Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Realme reached 42 percent, the highest it has ever been. 

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