Canalys predicted China’s smartphone market will decline again in 2019, with shipments likely to be below 400 million units.
The research company expects shipments to fall 3 per cent to 385 million units this year. Shipments in 2018 fell 14 per cent year-on-year to 396 million units, the lowest level since 2013. In 2017, shipments were down 4 per cent.
A standout feature of 2018 was rapid consolidation, with the top five smartphone vendors’ market share rising from 73 per cent in 2017 to 88 per cent (see chart below, click to enlarge), albeit the latter figures relate to a smaller overall market, as evidenced by the fact only Huawei and Vivo are shown to have increased unit shipments year-on-year (a trend also highlighted in Strategy Analytics figures released last week).
The move to higher-quality handsets is not limited to China: Counterpoint Research reported the global premium smartphone segment grew faster than the overall market in 2018.
While global sales of handsets priced at $200 and below declined 10 per cent, the premium segment ($400 and over) grew 18 per cent (see chart below, click to enlarge).
Counterpoint Research said the ultra-premium band ($800 and higher) posted the fastest growth. In 2017 the segment accounted for 8 per cent of the overall premium market: in Q4 2018 it represented 35 per cent.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back