As Apple & Samsung declined, Huawei's smartphone shipments exploded in 2018

As Apple & Samsung declined, Huawei's smartphone shipments exploded in 2018
The Mate 20 Pro – Huawei was the big winner last year

Last year was a pretty tough year in the smartphone world with all but Huawei and Xiaomi experiencing struggles at some point in the year. In fact, according to data from IDC, shipments declined 4.1%, thus marking the worst year ever for smartphones.

Overall, 1.404 billion devices were shipped throughout 2018. Once again, Samsung led the industry with sales of 292.3 million for the entire year and a market share of 20.8%. These figures are certainly impressive but do represent a sharp decline of 8% versus the 317.7 million devices it sold in 2017, according to IDC’s data. The company’s market share also dropped 0.9%.

Just over 80 million units behind Samsung was Apple with 208.8 million shipments for the year, just over 3% less than the 215.8 million units it sold the year before. Interestingly enough, though, its overall market share has actually grown 0.2% to 14.9%.

The unsurprising winner in 2018 was Huawei. Despite the political challenges it has faced recently, the company powered through and surpassed 200 million shipments for the first time. In fact, the total number of shipped devices sat at 206 million units, up almost 52 million and representing a market share of 14.7%.

As mentioned above, Huawei’s Chinese rival Xiaomi also saw strong growth throughout the year with a gain of almost 30 million units to 122.6 million. Rounding out the top was Oppo who dropped down into 5th place but did still see a slight increase in sales of 1.3% to 113.1 million.

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Looking at the data from the recent October to December quarter, Samsung managed to maintain its number one position once again with 70.4 million units. However, it was followed very closely behind by Apple and Huawei. The latter experienced growth of almost 44% to 60.5 million while Apple saw its shipments decline 68.4 million units, according to IDC’s data.

This figure represents a drop of 11.5% or 8.9 million units. But interestingly enough, it's not quite as low as the 65.9 million units Strategy Analytics estimated yesterday.

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