Smartphone sales in Australia have slumped by 10.2 per cent to 2 million units in the first quarter of 2019, according to research firm Gartner.
Apple was the most popular vendor in Australia, holding 35 per cent market share with 720,000 unit sales. Huawei and Samsung followed in second and third place with 455,000 and 439,000, respectively.
Australia’s decline outpaced a global sales decline of 2.7 per cent year-on-year, which totalled 373 million units. In particular, the US and China, the countries that sell the most smartphones, saw sales plummet by 15.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively.
Of the top-performing vendors globally, Samsung retained the top spot followed by Huawei and Apple, which collectively accounted for almost half the worldwide market.
Huawei achieved the highest year-over-year growth among the top five vendors, with smartphone sales growing by 44.5 per cent year-on-year to 58.4 million units. In particular, the brand saw strong growth in Europe and Greater China, where its smartphone sales grew by 69 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively.
However, despite a buoyant quarter, Gartner warned of uncertain times ahead for the Chinese giant, claiming it will “struggle not to lose market share in the remainder of 2019” due to US sanctions and Google pulling the company’s Android licence.
“Unavailability of Google apps and services on Huawei smartphones, if implemented, will upset Huawei’s international smartphone business which is almost half of its worldwide phone business,” Gartner senior research analyst Anshul Gupta said.”Not the least it brings apprehension among buyers, limiting Huawei’s growth in the near term.”
Although Huawei is propped up by strong sales in China, where it commands 29.5 per cent market share, and is already “nearly absent” from the US, other research has predicted Huawei sales could tumble between four per cent and 24 per cent this year, and may even “disappear from international markets” altogether.
Meanwhile, although Samsung retained the top spot with unit sales totalling 71.6 million − or 19.2 per cent market share − its Q1 sales fell by 8.8 per cent.
Apple iPhone sales reached 44.6 million units in the first quarter of 2019, a decline of 17.6 per cent year-on-year.
“Demand for premium smartphones remained lower than for basic smartphones, which affected brands such as Samsung and Apple that have significant stakes in high-end smartphones,” Gupta said. “In addition, demand for utility smartphones declined as the rate of upgrading from feature phones to smartphones has slowed, given that 4G feature phones give users great advantages at a lower cost.”
Chinese vendors Oppo and Vivo meanwhile propped up the top five most popular brands, selling 29.6 million and 27.3 million units, respectively.