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Huawei Smartphone Sales Surge In Q1; Apple, Samsung Sales Decline

Worldwide shipment volumes of smartphones declined in the first quarter of 2019, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of decline.

However, Chinese tech giant Huawei was able to grow both volume and market share in the quarter to rise to the second position among the top smartphone vendors, while iPhone maker Apple Inc. (AAPL) and market leader Samsung (SMSN.L,SSNNF.OB,SSNLF.OB) reported slowing smartphone sales.

According to preliminary data by research firm International Data Corporation or IDC, worldwide shipment volumes of smartphones declined 6.6 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2019.

Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 310.8 million units worldwide in the first quarter, down from 332.7 million units in the year-ago period. According to IDC, the quarter's results are a clear sign that 2019 will be another down year for worldwide smartphone shipments.

Huawei took the second position among the smartphone vendors, surging past Apple, and was the only vendor at the top of the market that saw volume growth during the first quarter.

Huawei recorded year-over-year volume growth of 50.3 percent in the quarter, with shipment volumes of 59.1 million units. The company's market share rose to 19.0 percent from 11.8 percent in the prior-year period.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said, "The overall smartphone market continues to be challenged in almost all areas, yet Huawei was able to grow shipments by 50%, not only signifying a clear number two in terms of market share but also closing the gap on the market leader Samsung. This new ranking of Samsung, Huawei, and Apple is very likely what we'll see when 2019 is all said and done."

In contrast, market leader Samsung's shipment volumes declined 8.1 percent year-over-year to 71.9 million units, while its market share edged down to 23.1 percent from 23.5 percent a year ago. However, the results were still enough to keep Samsung in the top spot of the market.

Apple's shipments fell 30.2 percent from the year-ago period to 36.4 million units, while its market share declined to 11.7 percent from 15.7 percent last year. Apple slipped to third position among the top smartphone vendors.

The IDC noted that the iPhone struggled to win over consumers in most major markets as rivals continued to eat away at Apple's market share. In China, consumers were not willing to upgrade their mobile phones despite price cuts throughout the quarter along with favorable trade-in deals.

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