Chinese Smartphone Players Perform Well in Q3 Despite Global Decline


Global smartphone shipments declined 3 percent annually, recording 386.8 million units in the third quarter according to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.

“This is the first time that the global smartphone market has declined for three consecutive quarters […]. The lack of meaningful innovation and improvement in smartphone build quality is leading to lengthening replacement cycles,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.

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Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q3 2018

The top ten smartphone brands captured 79 percent of the market, leaving over 600 companies competing for the remaining 21 percent. Samsung ranked first with 19 percent of market shares, despite its declining shipments for the fourth consecutive quarter. However, the company reached the highest number of shipments ever in India. Apple shipments remained unchanged but the revenue increased by 29 percent with a record average selling price of $793.

With continued growth in the international markets, Chinese brands occupied six of the top ten positions. Huawei, only beaten by Samsung, retained second place with its over 50 million smartphone shipments. It holds 13 percent of the total market shares, a 3 percent increase from last year.

(Source: Counterpoint) Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi (HOVX) growth (China vs Rest of World) – Q3 2018

“Despite the decline in its home market, Chinese brands OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi reached new highs in smartphone shipments in a quarter,” Pathak said. He attributed the success of the Chinese brands to their global expansion with reducing the dependence on their home market.

Although the developing markets such as those in India showed substantial growth, it was not enough to compensate for the decline in developed markets like those in China, USA and Western Europe, which account for almost half of global smartphone sales.

Source: Counterpoint Research: Quarterly Market Monitor Q3 2018

However, emerging markets are full of potential and present long-term growth opportunities. Research Analyst Shobhit Srivastava explained that Chinese players are leading the way into the emerging markets as they venture out to capture sales.

The next growth cycle will likely be driven by the emergence of 5G which is expected to be commercially available sometime next year.