Smartphone sales declined again in Q2, surprising no one


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Smartphone sales are down. Again. After years of growth, the smartphone market’s recent slide has continued into the second quarter of 2019, per numbers from analyst group, Gartner.

At 1.7% year over year, it’s not a huge slice of the overall pie, but it does point to a continued problem for manufacturers, dropping from 374 million to 368 million. The biggest hit continues to be in the high end of the market, as higher prices coupled with longer refresh cycles and fewer compelling features continue to contribute to the decline.

Of the top five markets, only China and Brazil saw growth. At 0.5%, however, China’s slight bump wasn’t enough to turn things around. Interestingly, Gartner notes that some of China’s growth may be due to manufacturers looking to move old flagship stock to make way for 5G models. Additional 5G phones, coupled with more carrier coverage, could drive sales a bit as well in future quarters.

The number two market, India, saw a 2.3% drop y-o-y, as consumer upgrades from feature phones to smartphones began to slow. The firm anticipates that sales will continue to remain slow through the end of 2019.

Apple continued to see declines, though those have slowed compared to the hit it took in the first quarter. Samsung and Huawei, meanwhile, were rare bright spots. Samsung’s growth was led primarily by mid-range and entry-level handsets like its Galaxy A series, while the deferment of Huawei’s U.S. ban helped boost its sale a bit for the quarter.

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