Global smartphone sales slide

Smartphone sales are down, once again. According to numbers from analyst group Garter, the smartphone market’s recent slide has continued into the second quarter of 2019. At 1.7 percent year over year decline, it is 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. 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. The hope is 5G phones, coupled with more carrier coverage, could drive sales in future quarters.

The number two market, India, saw a 2.3 percent drop year-on-year, 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 US ban until probably the end of the year has helped the beleaguered Chinese firm boost its sale a bit for the quarter.