Huawei to narrow gap with Samsung as Apple falls further behind

Huawei expected to narrow gap with Samsung as Apple falls further behind
This year has been very interesting for smartphone manufacturers across the globe. Some brands have quickly risen up the ranks and others have slipped further down the list. The top 3 has remained completely unchanged, however, and now Strategy Analytics (viaKorea Herald) is predicting the final outcome. 

Samsung will ship over 320 million smartphones this year

Leading the way for yet another consecutive quarter will reportedly be Samsung. The South Korean giant has undoubtedly benefited from Huawei’s troubles this year but most of its recent success comes down to its own efforts. 

Samsung has pumped millions into a revamped low-end and mid-range lineup that has proven extremely popular across Europe. So much so that its market share reached a five-year high earlier this year and it was crowned the fastest growing brand in the region.

Galaxy A and Galaxy M smartphones have also proven extremely popular across Asia. India, in particular, has loved the phones so much that Samsung continues to be the second-most popular brand in the region despite growing competition.

Samsung’s decision to release an expanded range of flagships this year has also positively impacted the results because it has helped maintain sales in an increasingly saturated market. Additionally, the decision to release 5G smartphones early on has given the company an early lead in the segment – it currently accounts for 74% of all 5G devices. 
As for how all of this translates into sales, Strategy Analytics believes Samsung will end the year with shipments of 323 million smartphones and a global market share of 21.3%. These figures are up from 291 million and 20.3% a year ago, respectively. 

Huawei might miss its 2019 sales targets

In second place looks set to be Huawei with estimated shipments of 251 million units and a market share of 17.7%. The company itself is forecasting sales of 270 million devices so it might fail to reach expectations. Nevertheless, strong annual growth is expected.

Huawei finished 2018 with shipments of 206 million units and a market share of 14.4%. The forecasted 2019 results mean the company has successfully narrowed the gap between itself and Samsung from 85 million devices to just 72 million and from 5.9% to 3.6%.

Regarding what led to the strong performance, Strategy Analytics highlighted Huawei’s performance in its home market of China where it’s well on its way to achieving a 50% market share in the region. This has offset the company’s declining sales in Europe since the US trade ban was implemented. Huawei has been largely dependent on its existing lineup of devices and rebrands of older models to maintain sales, but consumers are gradually disassociating themselves.

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How well it performs in 2020 will largely be dependent on whether the trade ban is lifted or not. Because, if it isn’t, Huawei will have an increasingly tough time selling smartphones to consumers due to the lack of Google Play access.

Apple's poor iPhone performance drags it down

Following in a distant third place is expected to be Apple with total shipments of 193 million units and a market share of 13.6%. For reference, a year earlier the company shipped in the region of 208 million units and held a market share of 14.7%. 

Apple has struggled significantly this year in light of weaker iPhone XS and iPhone XR sales than expected. The newer iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro devices are reportedly performing more strongly but it hasn’t been enough to make up for the poor performance during the first six months. 

The company is largely expected to rebound in 2020 thanks to the cheaper iPhone SE 2, which may also be marketed as the iPhone 9, and the extended iPhone 12 series.

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