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Gartner Says 2018 iPhone Holiday Sales Experienced Biggest Sales Decline Since Q1 2016

Gartner Says 2018 iPhone Holiday Sales Experienced Biggest Sales Decline Since Q1 2016

New market research data from Gartner shows Apple’s iPhone showed its biggest decline in sales since the first quarter of 2016 during the 2018 holiday quarter.

Global sales of smartphones to end users stalled in the fourth quarter of 2018, totaling 408.4 million units — growth of just 0.1 percent over the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. Apple recorded its worst quarterly decline (11.8 percent) since the first quarter of 2016.

“Demand for entry-level and midprice smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Slowing incremental innovation at the high end, coupled with price increases, deterred replacement decisions for high-end smartphones. This led to a flat-growth market in the fourth quarter of 2018.”

iPhone sales totaled 64 million during the calendar fourth quarter of 2018, down from 73 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Overall, smartphone sales in Q4 2018 had growth of just 0.1% over the period, with 408.4 million units shipped.

Although Apple hung in at second place during Q4 2018 (Samsung ranked #1 with 17.3% of smartphone sales), Apple’s numbers took the biggest hit on the list, as it saw its 18% Q4 2017 market share drop to 16% in Q4 2018.

iPhone sales took the hardest hit in Greater China, as the device’s market share dropped to 8.8% in Q4 2018, down precipitously from its 14.6% share in Q4 2017. Samsung’s share of the Chinese market was also down, falling 1% year-over-year.

Third place went to Huawei, with a market share of 14.8%, up from 10.8% in Q4 2017. Oppo, ranked fourth, with 7.6%, up from 7.3% in Q4 2017, while Xiaomi grabbed a 6.8% share, down slightly from 6.9% the previous holiday quarter.

Gartner says demand for high-end smartphones continued to wane during Q4 2018:

“Demand for entry-level and midprice smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. “Slowing incremental innovation at the high end, coupled with price increases, deterred replacement decisions for high-end smartphones.”

Global smartphone sales as a whole grew by 1.2% year-over-year, with 1.6 billion units shipped.

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