Wednesday, 04 March 2020 13:57

Australian smartphone sales grow for quarter; worldwide sales decline Featured

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Sales of smartphones in Australia grew 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, bucking a global trend which saw worldwide smartphone sales continuing to decline, with a 0.4% drop for the quarter.

Releasing its worldwide smartphone market share results for the fourth quarter of 2019, analyst firm Gartner also reported that while Samsung maintained the No. 1 position globally in Q4 of 2019, in Australia, however, it comes in second behind Apple.

The results also show that:

  • After four consecutive quarters of decline, Apple’s iPhone sales globally returned to growth, with an increase of 7.8% in the Q4 of 2019.
  • Huawei experienced the highest growth globally in 2019 with an overall annual increase of 18.6%. This helped it secure the No. 2 spot for the year, ahead of Apple. In Australia, however, growth declined in 2019 by 26.8%, placing it in 4th spot.
  • While facing an extended ban from the US, Huawei aggressively pursued its smartphone strategy in China, where it grew its market share by 37% in 2019.

"[The year] 2019 ended a little better than expected, due to slightly improved performances from North America and emerging Asia Pacific,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.

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“However, India, which sold 151.9 million units, overtook the US to become the No. 2 country for smartphone sales in 2019. China maintained the lead, with sales of 390.8 million smartphones over the full year.”

Gartner says that Apple and Xiaomi were the only vendors in the top five to achieve growth in the fourth quarter of 2019, and even with a decline in sales, Samsung held on to the No. 1 position with 17.3% market share, while Apple secured the No. 2 position with 17.1% of the market.

After four consecutive quarters of decline, Apple’s iPhone sales returned to growth, with an increase of 7.8% in the fourth quarter.

And despite a small (0.5%) year-over-year contraction in its smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2019, Samsung increased its full-year sales by 0.4% to 296.2 million units.

“A slight lowering of the prices of the iPhone 11 series, compared with the iPhone XR, and other price reductions for previous-generation iPhone models, increased demand. It also helped Apple regain the No. 2 position,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.

peter two march4

Sales of iPhones were particularly strong in China, where they grew by 39% in the fourth quarter. Apple also performed strongly in certain mature and developing markets, such as the U.K., France, Germany, Brazil and India.

Gartner analysts expect Apple will launch its first 5G smartphone in the third quarter of 2020. This will encourage users to upgrade in countries where 5G network services are available.

Xiaomi’s smartphone sales totalled 32.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2019 — a 16.5% increase, year over year. “This strong performance enabled Xiaomi to overtake OPPO and take the No. 4 spot,” said Gupta.

“The price and performance of Redmi models drove Xiaomi’s smartphone sales growth, and the company did particularly well in emerging Asia/Pacific.”

Data tables: courtesy Gartner

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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