New data from IHS Markit Smartphone Intelligence Service shows global smartphone shipments fell in 2Q19, the seventh consecutive quarter of YoY declines. The report suggested the impact of the US ban on Huawei hasn't yet impacted the smartphone market, will likely show up in 3Q19 data.
The smartphone downturn has gained momentum in 1H19. Global shipments decreased to 331.2 million units in 2Q19, down 3.6% YoY. This means the decline has been ongoing since 3Q17, predating the trade war by several quarters.
The slowdown in shipments in 2Q19 was widespread, with only four brands (Samsung Electronics, Huawei, OPPO and TCL Alcatel) out of the top ten achieving YoY growth during the quarter.
Jusy Hong, research and analysis director at IHS, said the Huawei ban wasn't in effect for the whole quarter, since it was only announced on May 15. As a result, the impact of the ban on Huawei was limited. The company shipped 58.7 million smartphones in 2Q19 globally, down less than 1% from 59.1 million units in 1Q19 and up 8% from the 2Q18. Huawei's market share rose to 18% in 2Q19, up 2% YoY.
"In terms of smartphones, Huawei been able to weather the storm so far," Hong said. "Following a strong first-quarter performance, Huawei was one of the few smartphone makers to buck the overall negative trend in the market in the second quarter. Huawei was able to replace falling international shipments with increased sales in China. However, the full effects of the ban likely will be felt by Huawei's international business in the third quarter of this year."
The Trump administration prevented US companies and government entities from purchasing Huawei products will likely show up in 3Q19 smartphone shipment data.
Hong said Apple dropped to fourth place in global smartphone sales, shipping 35.3 million iPhones in 2Q19 compared to the 36.2 million units shipped by Oppo, 58.7 million units by Huawei, and 75.1 million units by Samsung.
"Apple continues to face challenges in terms of unit shipments -- a trend that is unlikely to be fixed soon," Hong said.
While Apple has been marketing overpriced iPhones, Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo have been quickly building market share, taking some of it away from Apple, by offering reasonably priced smartphones.
Other smartphone market trackers such as International Data Corporation's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker warned about the global smartphone downturn and revealed how Huawei surpassed Apple in 2Q19 smartphone shipments.
The global smartphone downturn and the demise of Apple will continue through 2H19, and well into 2020 as recession risks are elevated.