Samsung Led Global Smartphone Market Shipments in Q4 2018, Followed Closely by Apple: IDC

Samsung Led Global Smartphone Market Shipments in Q4 2018, Followed Closely by Apple: IDC

Samsung remains the leading brand with an 18.7 percent market share

  • Samsung is the leading smartphone vendor by shipments
  • The overall market has declined by 4.9 percent
  • Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has seen huge growth

The global smartphone market has been in decline for the past few months, and continues to drop going into 2019. According to data published by leading analytics firm International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone vendors globally saw an overall drop of 4.9 percent in shipments for Q4 2018. A total of 375.4 million smartphones were shipped, down from 394.6 million units in the same quarter last year. Samsung leads the global smartphone market for the quarter, with a market share of 18.7 percent.

The report further suggests that outside of high-growth markets such as India, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam, global smartphone shipments are on the decline in most parts of the world. Even among the top five smartphone companies in the world according to shipments, the top two - Samsung and Apple - saw negative growth for the quarter (5.5 percent and 11.5 percent decline, respectively) Further, the combined shipment figures for all other brands outside the top five for the quarter saw a massive decline of 18.5 percent.

The biggest growth for the quarter was registered by Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, which saw a year-on-year change of nearly 44 percent. Oppo and Xiaomi complete the top five, showing that Chinese smartphone makers are growing rapidly in the global smartphone space. In India, Xiaomi led the smartphone segment in Q3 2018 with a market share of 27.3 percent, followed by Samsung.

While the IDC data does show Apple registering a decline, the numbers are still impressive and Apple has retained its position as number two by global shipments. Samsung, reigning at the top, shipped 70.4 million smartphones (18.7 percent market share) in Q4 2018, while Apple shipped 68.4 million units (18.2 percent market share). Huawei came third, shipping 60.5 million smartphones to gain a 16.1 percent market share, while Oppo came fourth with 29.2 million smartphone shipped, and a 7.8 percent market share. Xiaomi was the fifth, with 28.6 million units shipped, at a 7.6 percent share. Strategy Analytics reports that Apple shipped 65.9 million iPhones in Q4 2018, while Canalys reports Apple shipped 71.7 million units.

global smartphone shipments q4 2018 idc IDCImage credit: IDC

What is perhaps most notable about the IDC report is that the top five smartphone vendors now account for 69 percent of smartphone volume, up from 63 percent a year ago. The big smartphone makers continue to extend their lead over the rest of the pack, as smaller smartphone vendors lose market share globally.


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Ali Pardiwala
Ali Pardiwala writes about audio and video devices for Gadgets 360 out of Mumbai, and has covered the industry for a decade now. Ali is a Senior Reviewer for Gadgets 360, where he has regularly written about televisions, home entertainment, and mobile gaming as well. He is a firm believer in 4K and HDR on televisions, and believes that true wireless earphones are the future of the personal audio industry. Ali is available on Twitter as @AliusPardius and on email at, so do send in ...More
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