The global smartphone market saw a downward trend for the quarter, the fifth straight period that this has happened, with shipments slipping 6% to 362 million. For 2018 as a whole, shipments fell 5% from 2017, slipping from 1.5 billion to 1.4 billion, the company said.
"It is no shock to smartphone vendors that the market has passed its peak," said Canalys' senior analyst Ben Stanton. "People are clearly keeping phones for longer as product innovation slows.
"But the speed and severity of shipment decline has caught many vendors, investors, and other companies in the value chain off-guard. International factors like the US-China trade war, weak consumer spending in developed markets, and a buoyant market for refurbished phones, have catalysed the decline of smartphone shipments."
For Apple, the final quarter of 2018 saw a 7% fall year-on-year, though it retained the top spot for shipments. The iPhone XR was top of the list for Apple,m with 22 million units shipped. The iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS shipped 14 million and nine million units respectively.
Samsung fell to second spot in the fourth quarter of 2018, with shipments falling 5% to 70.3 million units. The company shopped 23 million fewer devices than in 2017 and its full-year shipments were 294 million units, well below the target of 320 million.
Graphics: courtesy Canalys