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Chinese ICT behemoth Huawei has overtaken Apple in smartphone sales following the opening quarter of 2019, in what is becoming an increasingly more competitive and volatile market. Huawei now jumps into 2nd place ahead of the US iPhone manufacturer in a market dominated by South Korean juggernaut Samsung.

 According to data from Chinese-owned International Data Corporation a total of 310.8 million smartphone were shipped globally during the first three months of 2019, which interestingly represents a decline of 6.6% from the same period in 2018.

What will be most concerning for smartphone manufacturers is that for the sixth consecutive quarter global smartphone shipments have been in decline. IDC is projecting that the early results indicate that 2019 will be another down year overall for smartphone shipments, apart from strong growth enjoyed by Huawei.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that Huawei is laser focused on growing its stature in the world of mobile devices, with smartphones being its lead horse," said IDC mobile device program director Ryan Reith.

“The overall smartphone market continues to be challenged in almost all areas, yet Huawei was able to grow shipments by 50 percent."

South Korean consumer electronics behemoth Samsung saw smartphone shipments drop 8.1 percent to 71.9 million in the first quarter.

In contrast, Huawei weighed in with 50.3 percent growth to ship 59.1 million smartphones and put it within "striking distance" of Samsung, according to IDC.

Apple has endured a fraught first quarter and has encountered a number of obstacles, most alarming is iPhone shipments have dropped by a staggering 30.2 percent from a year earlier to 36.4 million units, IDC reported.

“Consumers continue to hold on to their phones longer than before as newer higher priced models offer little incentive to shell out top dollar to upgrade," said IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella.

“Moreover, the pending arrival of 5G handsets could have consumers waiting until both the networks and devices are ready for prime time in 2020."


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