An assortment of different models of Samsung mobile phones

Global sales of smartphones declined 1.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2018/19 to 368 million units, according to Gartner. The market researcher said demand for high-end devices was falling, driving manufacturers to focus on bringing premium features to the mid-range in order to boost phone replacements.

Huawei and Samsung were still growing in Q2, with sales up 16.5 and 3.8 per cent, respectively. As a result, they both grew market share in the quarter. Samsung added 1.1 per cent points year-on-year for 20.4 per cent of sales, helped by demand for its revamped A series, and Huawei grew by 2.5 points to 15.8 per cent of the market.

Gartner said the US announcement of a ban on Huawei did have an effect on the company’s sales in the quarter. However, strong promotion and brand positioning helped Huawei sell a record number of smartphones in Greater China in the quarter, growing 31 per cent in the region.

Sales of iPhones continued to decline year over year, although at a lesser rate compared with the first quarter of 2019. Apple sold just over 38 million iPhones in the second quarter, a 13.8 per cent decline year over year. Its market share fell to 10.5 per cent from 11.9 per cent a year ago.

Among the top five smartphone markets, only China (+0.5 per cent) and Brazil (+1.3 per cent) grew in the quarter. The Indian market fell by 2.3 per cent to an estimated 35.7 million smartphones.

Gartner expects global smartphone sales will remain weak for the rest of the year. Worldwide smartphone sales to end users will total an estimated 1.5 billion units in 2019.