Samsung and Huawei's sales soared last quarter as Apple fell further behind

Samsung and Huawei's sales soared last quarter as Apple fell further behind
The smartphone market has been struggling since its peak in 2017 but new data gathered by Canalys suggests that, after two years of declines, the global segment finally returned to growth during the third quarter of 2019 thanks to strong performance by Samsung and Huawei.

Samsung experienced strong growth and is still number one


A total of 352.4 million smartphones were shipped between the beginning of July and the end of September. Twelve months earlier, global sales sat at 348.9% which means the market grew by a decent 1% during the third quarter.

Samsung continued to lead the segment with shipments of 78.9 million devices across the three months. This number is up from 71.3 million units in Q3 2018 and represents a very impressive annual growth of 11%. According to Canalys, the updated Galaxy A series is proving extremely popular across the globe while the Galaxy Note 10 series is currently outselling last year’s Galaxy Note 9 by more than 5%. Samsung itself hasn’t provided specific flagship sales numbers but it did confirm the popularity of its Galaxy Note 10 devices.

Canalys Research Director Rushabh Doshi said “5G is the next battleground for Samsung.” The company is already investing heavily in compatible modems for its devices and it’s believed Samsung could pull further ahead of the competition in the smartphone segment if it can move faster than Qualcomm when it comes to 5G modems for mid-range devices.

Huawei defied its US trade ban and closed in on Samsung


Behind Samsung in second place is, once again, Huawei. The Chinese giant continued to battle a US trade ban throughout the quarter but was ultimately unstoppable. Its shipments grew an incredible 29% from 51.9 million to 66.8 million units, putting it just 12.1 million sales behind arch-rival Samsung. 

Huawei’s strong performance was underpinned by an incredible 66% growth rate in China but it turns out the brand also improved its overseas sales. International shipment volumes increased from 21.5 million units in the second quarter to 25.3 million during the third. The popularity of low-end models such as the Huawei P30 Lite, which sold 3 million units, is the primary reason for this but Canalys warns the company might not be able to replicate this success in the current quarter.

As the data shows, retailers and carriers in both Europe and other overseas markets are showing resistance when it comes to selling newer phones that don’t have access to Google’s apps and services. The Mate 30 series is reportedly on track for a mid-November launch in Europe but the lack of availability could severely impact Huawei’s global business. Additionally, as Canalys points out, Huawei’s new Y-series and P-series models are only months away. These devices accounted for 64% of all shipments during the first half of 2019 but the lack of Google services on new models could prove detrimental to the company’s business next year.

The iPhone 11 saved Apple last quarter


The top-three was completed by Apple who, rather unsurprisingly, experienced yet another sales decline. During the quarter, it sold 43.5 million iPhones, a decline of 7% from the 46.9 million units it sold in Q3 2018. 

Canalys says weak iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max performance was the main contributing factor although the situation could have been much worse. As it turns out, Apple’s decision to release three new iPhones in September combined with each model's popularity significantly boosted the company’s total shipment numbers for the quarter. 

Apple itself expects a strong fourth quarter but Canalys warns iPhone 11 demand could drop massively in the early months of 2020 as competing 5G flagships launch. This, in turn, could leave the Cupertino giant relying heavily on the iPhone SE 2 to keep iPhone shipment volumes up before the arrival of Apple’s first 5G iPhones in September.

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29 Comments

1. Papa_Ji

Posts: 873; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Imagine if APPLE was not afraid of HUAWEI innovation.. .. And was allowed to sell its devices in US. THEN APPLE WAS EASILY OUT OF TOP 5. (~20-23 million unit sold and below 5% M. S)

2. midan

Posts: 3097; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Why would you think Huawei selling phones in US would affect Apple negatively? If people in US would have wanted android phone they would already bought one of many, I don't see what Huawei offers than what Samsung for example already doesn't? it's very unlikely that US people where iOS ecosystem is very strong would leave their iPhone and Apple devices and suddenly buying Huawei phones? If Huawei could sell their phones in US it would propably have biggest impact against Samsung, just like it's here in EU. Except now when people are worrying Huawei situation and buying Samsung phones again (which also can be seen from this stats)

5. Papa_Ji

Posts: 873; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Starting from P20 pro huawei phones are much ahead of iPhones.... Apple is still trying hard to catch up P20 pro.

10. midan

Posts: 3097; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

wow, i didn't knew huawei phones can run iOS These days! How did you do that?

8. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Some people have the illusion that Trump is doing it to protect sales of iphones.

9. Poptart2828

Posts: 458; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I don't agree with your assessment. Huawei is in competition with everyone. If they were allowed to sell in the US, Apple like everyone else would lose shares of the market.

11. midan

Posts: 3097; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I don't think it would have hardly Any impact in US for Apple. like i said, what huawei brings to market what Samsung and others already doesn't have? which can beat iOS ecosystem which is strongest in US.

12. Papa_Ji

Posts: 873; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

WTF is iOS ecosystem... Limitations Limitations and Limatations Everthing revolves around google services and android in the best match for smart devices and for PC it's WINDOWS (which also works better with Android).

16. domfonusr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Perhaps the effect would be small enough that it wouldn't be noticed so much, but there would be an effect of some sort on Apple market share if Huawei devices were readily available in the US, no matter how small. I do think that Samsung would take the brunt of any such change, though, compared to Apple. Either way, Samsung and Huawei are to be congratulated on a good showing market-share-wise, though Samsung is slipping when it comes to revenue and profits. Either way, Apple is still laughing all the way to the bank, and will continue to do so, one way or the other, regardless of anything Samsung or Huawei can do in the short-term. Long-term may be a different story, though, at any time... I just hope they all keep each other on their toes!

3. Xavier1415

Posts: 216; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

great job samsung :)

17. Vokilam

Posts: 1343; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Why don’t they never post their ASP numbers for the market shares these companies own. I bet it’s all in sub-$250 Range. Market share where Apple caters to 0%. Deduct anything below $700 range from those numbers and see which company actually covers the market share that Apple caters to.

19. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Hmm, then why does Apple want to make a lower priced iPhone SE 2? That will clearly lower Apple's ASP, especially since that new iPhone SE 2 in March will start at $399 USD.

21. mackan84

Posts: 609; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

What I wonder is how does this information matter to both of you. Selling more phones at low profit or less phones to bigger profit. Now why does either of these business practices even matter to you personally? They obviously make money doing both.

23. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

It's some sort of weird fanboy, uh, measuring contest. I don't get it either.

28. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 381; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

Because certain people need validation for their purchases

22. iushnt

Posts: 3138; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Why does ASP matter in a market share analysis?

26. mackan84

Posts: 609; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Analysts often look at ASP to see if the market is getting saturated with competitors, therefore, driving down the ASP. Here in the comments it’s just another word to prove a point.

4. palmguy

Posts: 986; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Tune in tommorow when the new headline is: newest Apple phone exceeds expectations in the market and blows all others away.

20. cmdacos

Posts: 4302; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Cheapest iPhone maybe.

7. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

13. bucknassty

Posts: 1365; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

wait... i thought there was just an article saying samsung is struggling??? does it flip flop everyday at this site????

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei and Samsung and killing it in the smartphone space! Congrats to them both! Huawei will undoubtedly face some challenges selling the Mate 30 series in Europe due to the lack of GMS, but I have a feeling that in places where their HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) are strong outside of China, they won’t do as bad as suspected. Time will tell. With how close Huawei is to Samsung now, if it weren’t for the ban which results in a lack of GMS, I think Huawei would have overtaken Samsung as the top smartphone OEM by the end of the final quarter this year. Apple’s sales have dropped, but I feel many outside of Apples “sphere of influence” already knew this would happen. Apple will undoubtedly grow sales in the final quarter...the new iPhones are looking good, although Apple needs to iron out those software bugs ASAP.

24. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

Apple is banking on services. I get emails daily from Apple trying to sell me on Apple Music and TV.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. I have received similar emails. Apple banking on services is actually a smart move, as no smartphone company can survive on hardware sales alone indefinitely. Services are where it’s are for a company like Apple, unless said companies are into a vast amount of other things, like Huawei, Samsung and even LG. LG is a good example of where their non-smartphone hardware offerings are keeping the company afloat.

27. mackan84

Posts: 609; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Yep and apps. Even going into App Store and you’re met with articles on apps, games and recommendations.

15. Zappo

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

Very impressive that Huawei managed to improve its overseas sales despite Trump trying to kill them off.

18. Demo-jay

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 13, 2018

I feel as if huawei is more of a threat to Samsung than it is to apple...ever since huawei got crippled..Samsung took the opportunity to flood the market with the A-series..we all know if huawei was still strong..sammy would have showed a great decline..also apple would have been affected but still..it’s ios

29. Deadeye

Posts: 131; Member since: Jul 26, 2019

A-series release was way before Huawei ban. So no, your argument is flawed.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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