Smartphone sales see modest rebound after 2-year slump – survey

WASHINGTON, USA – Global smartphone sales increased modestly in the third quarter, the first growth for the segment after a two-year slump, a market tracker said.

Data from Strategy Analytics late Wednesday showed handset shipments up 2% from a year earlier at 366 million units, the first rise since the third quarter of 2017.

South Korean-based Samsung remained the top vendor and China's Huawei held its number 2 spot despite US sanctions, ahead of third-place Apple, the research group said.

"Worldwide demand for smartphones is recovering, due to strong pricing competition among vendors and new innovations such as larger screens and 5G connectivity," said Linda Sui, an analyst with the group.

Samsung extended its lead in the market by boosting sales by 8% in the quarter to 78 million units, representing a 21.3% share.

Huawei was the biggest surprise, showing a gain of 29% with 66 million units sold, giving it an 18.2% market share despite sanctions imposed by Washington that could make it harder to obtain key technology and components.

The Chinese firm, which launched its latest high-end smartphone in September without popular Google apps, picked up gains in its home market, according to Strategy Analytics.

It said Huawei's gains were largely in its home market.

The report said Apple's sales of iPhones fell 3% from a year ago to 45.6 million units, giving it 12.4% of the market.

Apple, which released its quarterly update Wednesday, did not disclose iPhone unit sales but said revenue from its iPhones was down 9%.

"Despite the slight decline, this was actually Apple's best growth performance since last year," said analyst Woody Oh.

"We believe Apple is stabilizing, due to cheaper iPhone 11 pricing and healthier demand across Asia and the United States."

The report showed China-based Xiaomi maintaining 4th place with a 9% market share, followed by another Chinese firm Oppo, at 8%.

Other unspecified vendors captured the remaining 31% of the market, according to the report. – Rappler.com