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Worldwide smartphone shipments fall as China market sees slowdown

Tyrone Stewart

Smartphones in handsGlobal smartphone shipments have declined, as the Chinese smartphone market took a big hit in the first quarter of 2018.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.3m units in Q1 2018, equalling a 2.9 per cent decline compared to the 344.4m units shipped in Q1 2017. The Chinese market saw shipment numbers drop below 100m for the first time since the third quarter of 2013.

“Globally, as well as in China, a key bellwether, smartphone consumers are trading up to more premium devices, but there are no longer as many new smartphone converts, resulting in shipments dropping,” said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC's worldwide mobile device trackers. “When we look at it from a dollar value perspective, the smartphone market is still climbing and will continue to grow over the years to come as consumers are increasingly reliant on these devices for the bulk of their computing needs.”

Samsung maintained the number spot with 78.2m shipments and a 23.4 per cent market share but suffered a 2.4 per cent decline in units shipped. Meanwhile, Apple moved 52.2m iPhone units for 15.6 per cent of the market, representing a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 2.8 per cent.

The Chinese big names of Huawei and Xiaomi remained in the third and fourth places, but both experienced impressive growth.

Huawei claimed 11.8 per cent of the market in shipping 39.3m units, a YoY growth of 13.8 per cent, while Xiaomi picked up 8.4 per cent of the market with its 28m shipments and 87.8 per cent YoY growth.

Oppo saw a decline of 7.5 per cent in holding on to the fifth spot, shipping 23.9m units for 7.1 per cent market share. All other brands combined shipped 112.7 units, a decline of 18.5 per cent.