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Huawei shipments and market share rocket as Apple slips in fourth quarter of 2018, says IDC

Jasper Hart
March 25, 2019

Samsung retained top spot with 28 per cent of overall market share for Q4

Huawei saw year-on-year growth of nearly 75 per cent in EMEA smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2018, according to research company IDC.

The Chinese manufacturer’s shipments in the quarter totalled 20.9 million, up from 12 million in Q4 2017, according to IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

This gave it a market share of 21.2 per cent in Q4 2018, rising from 12.2 per cent in the same quarter the previous year.

As a result, Huawei leapfrogged Apple into second place for market share; Apple’s Q4 2017 share of 19.6 per cent and shipments of 19.3 million fell to 16.6 per cent and 16.4 million in Q4 2018.

Samsung held firm in top spot, suffering a slight decline in market share compared with Q4 2017, from 29.3 per cent to 28 per cent. This represented a 3.8 per cent decline in year-on-year growth.

Total fourth-quarter smartphone shipments were 98.8 million, up just 0.4 per cent from the same quarter in 2017.


IDC EMEA research manager Marta Pinto said: “Eyes in the industry have been on Huawei, to see how much

it would grow, but also on Apple, to see how much it might fall after the company’s recent profit warning.

“In this context, Apple had a reasonable quarter, though not as strong as the fourth quarter in 2017.”

Other companies that saw growth in the region were the other leading Chinese companies Transsion and Xiaomi.

The latter saw its market share rise from 2.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent, and its shipments from 2.4 million to 4.2 million, while Transsion’s market share rose from 6.4 to 8.3 per cent.

IDC EMEA programme director Simon Baker said: “Xiaomi is entering new markets across Europe one by one, but is finding this a difficult process. However, its market share continues to grow steadily.

“Huawei, on the other hand, is already there in all of them, especially in operator retail – a big advantage. It is leveraging that presence in a head- to-head battle with Samsung, driven by a lot of marketing and the strength of its product portfolio.

“Such a rapid change is rare in this region among the top players in the market.”

Pinto also noted the strength of Huawei sub-brand Honor: “More Honor phones are sold in retail chains than by the operator shops in comparison with Huawei, and Honor in general has lower price points.”

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