Sales of smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2018 improved by just 1.4 percent to reach 389 million units, according to Gartner data, and it’s all thanks to Chinese brands.
The research shows that Huawei and Xiaomi were the two companies that helped the smartphone market survive in the last quarter, as giants like Samsung and Apple achieved lower than expected sales.
“If we had taken both Huawei and Xiaomi out of the global smartphone vendors list, smartphone sales to end users would have declined by 5.2 percent,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.
Samsung sales declined from 85.6 million units in the third quarter of 2017 to just 73.3 million units this year, with the South Korean firm going down from a market share of 22.3% to 18.9%.
Apple, on the other hand, matched last year’s figures, with sales of approximately 45 million units and market share of 11.8 percent.
Huawei going for the leading spot
Huawei offered the most impressive performance during the quarter, as its sales jumped from 36.5 million units to no less than 52.2 million units, while the market share improved from 9.5% to 13.4%.
“Led by low-price smartphones, enhanced camera features and high-quality resolution displays, top Chinese mobile phone manufacturers boosted their sales across emerging markets in the third quarter of 2018,” the Gartner researcher said.
While Huawei managed to increase its sales by 43%, Apple is struggling with iPhone saturation, with the research shows that the XS Max is selling better than the XS.
“Apple’s iPhones are facing a saturated premium smartphone market, with slowing growth rates and increased competition in China,” Gupta noted.
With the gap between Samsung and Huawei already shrinking, it’s pretty clear that the Chinese company is getting closer to its dream of becoming the leading smartphone manufacturer in the world. 2019 could thus bring a change of places at the top of the smartphone sales chart, especially as Huawei keeps investing in new technologies like OLED panels with holes in them.