Smartphone market leader Samsung saw its market share fall 2.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, reports IDC, despite launching its flagship S9 and S9+ handsets earlier than usual.

IDC does, however, note that the bulk of S9/S9+ sales will fall into Q2 …

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IDC reports that the market as a whole experienced a fall in sales of 2.9% during the same period.

According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.3 million units during the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), resulting in a 2.9% decline when compared to the 344.4 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2017.

IDC cites the same factors that have been suggested by others as the key reason for sluggish sales.

The abundance of ultra-high-end flagships with big price tags released over the past 12-18 months has most likely halted the upgrade cycle in the near term. It now looks as if consumers are not willing to shell out this kind of money for a new device that brings minimal upgrades over their current device.

The firm notes that the impact was particularly dramatic in China.

The China market was the biggest driver of this decline with shipment volumes dipping below 100 million in the quarter, which hasn’t happened since the third quarter of 2013.

The biggest winner worldwide was Xiaomi, which saw its market share grow 87%, albeit from a relatively small base. Huawei achieved 13.8% growth, while Apple managed a more modest 2.8%. The success of Apple’s high-priced iPhone X did, however, see the company achieve significantly greater growth in both revenue and profit thanks to a dramatic uplift in average selling price.


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