Apple recovered ground on Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2019, as lower pricing of its iPhone 11 range spurred healthy demand in North America and Asia, Strategy Analytics stated.

The research company said the vendor shipped 70.7 million units during the quarter, some 4.8 million more than Q4 2018, with Samsung relegated to second place on 68.8 million units despite what Strategy Analytics noted had been good growth across all price points.

Huawei placed third, with shipments down 7 per cent to 56 million due to a slowdown in China, its biggest market, and tougher competition in key overseas markets including Europe. Domestic rival Xiaomi came in fourth, with success in Western Europe and a steady performance in India contributing to shipments of 33 million, 7 million higher than Q4 2018.

Oppo rounded out the top five by shipments on 30.5 million units, a dip from 31.5 million in the 2018 period.

Total shipments in the quarter of 374.5 million units were down from 376 million in Q4 2018.

The pattern was similar across the full year, with 1.41 billion units shipped down marginally on 1.43 billion in 2018, with “sharp declines” in China balanced by strong growth in emerging markets in Africa and India.

Strategy Analytics noted Samsung maintained its leading position in full year shipments on 295.1 million units, followed by Huawei (240.5 million); Apple (197.4 million); Xiaomi (124.8 million); and Oppo (115.1 million).

The research company’s figures showed Apple and Oppo were the only top-five vendors to see declines in full year shipments.