Apple Inc lost ground to Samsung and Huawei in the third quarter when global smartphone sales rose on a quarterly basis only for the first time in two years, according to Canalys.
Apple shipments fell 7% to 43.5 million units in the July to September period, just before the well-received iPhone 11 hit global store shelves, the researcher estimated.
Samsung Electronics Co, taking advantage of the lull, introduced a plethora of cheaper high-volume models to grow sales 11%, while a strong home market drove Huawei Technologies Co shipments 29% higher.
The global smartphone market is showing signs of life after users replaced aging devices and demand from markets such as India surged with the proliferation of low-priced plans. Samsung reported a 32% jump in operating income at its mobile division, while Apple’s holiday-quarter outlook trumped analysts’
The Korean company retained global leadership while Chinese rival closed the gap, thanks to pent-up demand that built up during the previous quarter when Washington blacklisted the networking giant. Xiaomi and Oppo rounded out the top five.
The prognosis for Huawei however is uncertain given the Trump Administration put it on the US Entity List, which prohibits it from using the latest Android versions in new devices. Shipments to its home market surged 66% in the quarter but only rose about 18% sequentially abroad, and many analysts foresee a drop in overall international sales.