Apple has been striving to wean itself off its reliance on iPhone sales with a focus on services, digital content and related gadgets Photo: AFP/File

Apple loses more ground in smartphone market


Apple lost more ground in the shrinking smartphone market last quarter, with a sales tracker saying the tech giant was pushed off the top-three seller list by a Chinese rival.

Apple fell to fourth place in global smartphone sales, shipping 35.3 million iPhones in the second quarter compared to the 36.2 million units shipped by Oppo, according to a report from IHS Markit.

South Korean consumer electronics titan Samsung remained in first place with 23 percent of the market, having shipped 75.1 million smartphones, China's Huawei shipped 58.7 million smartphones to claim 18 percent of the market, IHS Markit calculated.

"Apple continues to face challenges in terms of unit shipments -- a trend that is unlikely to be fixed soon," IHS smartphone research and analysis director Jusy Hong said in an online post.

While California-based Apple has been aggressively promoting iPhones, current-generation smartphones have "super-premium" prices while models a few years old are still costly compared to bargain Android-powered handsets, the analyst reasoned.

Other smartphone market trackers such as Counterpoint Research and International Data Corporation concluded that while iPhone shipments sank in the second quarter, Apple remained in third place what it came to global shipments.

Huawei, meanwhile, saw smartphone shipments rise despite the overall market contracting and US-China trade tensions, market trackers reported.

Huawei -- considered the world leader in superfast fifth-generation, or 5G, equipment and the world's number two smartphone producer -- has been blacklisted by U.S. President Donald Trump amid suspicions it provides a backdoor for Chinese intelligence services. The company denies those charges.

"The effect of the ban did not translate into falling shipments during this quarter, which will not be the case in the future," Counterpoint associate research director Tarun Pathak said in the firm's market report.

"In the coming quarters, Huawei is likely to be aggressive in its home market and register some growth there, but it will not be enough to offset for the decline in its overseas shipments."

The combined global smartphone market share of Chinese firms Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Realme reached a new high of 42 percent in the second quarter, according to Counterpoint.

"These brands have been aggressively expanding outside China and achieving growth offsetting the saturation in their home market," said Counterpoint research analyst Varun Mishra.

"Their strategies and product portfolios are more aligned to the local needs and preferences, which is one of their key strengths."

Apple has been striving to wean itself off its reliance on iPhone sales with a focus on services, digital content and related gadgets.

In the just-ended quarter, Apple for the first time took in less than half its revenue from the iPhone, the longtime cash and profit driver for the company.

Apple managed to grow its overall revenues, albeit by a modest one percent, to $53.8 billion, even as iPhone revenues plunged nearly 12 percent in the April-June period.

The company delivered strong growth from digital content and services including Apply Pay and Apple Music, along with wearables and accessories like the Apple Watch and Air Pods.

Apple has stopped reporting iPhone unit sales, but chief executive Tim Cook said during an earnings call that there was a "strong customer response" to iPhone promotions and financing programs.

Apple saw its sales improve in the crucial China market, which included a double-digit increase in services revenue driven by strong growth in the App Store there, according to the company.

The sale of iPhones in that country was boosted by factors including pricing moves by Apple, and trade-in and financing programs, Cook said.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The reason is that Apple is pricing themselves out of the market.

Their phones are too expensive. While Samsung, Google, and Sony phones top out at around $1,200, an iPhone topped out at around $1,600 for the same or similar specs. Huawei phones top out at around $800.

iPhone prices increase dramatically without justifying the cost increase between models. It’s as if they keep saying it’s more expensive because it’s “Apple.”

When it comes to wearables and wireless earphones, they do well in that department. They also keep their prices low. Also, most competitors are newcomers to the market.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

iPhones: pricing themselves out of the market.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No surprise: you need a loan to buy an iPhone nowadays. And not only iPhones. Why want a computer with a smaller HD of what you have been using over the previous 20 years, just to feed Apple Cloud service... I stopped doing also the backup of my iPad. I think the mobile phone market has gone out of reality... is there really people spending 1200 for a phone...? I got a used Huawei for 120$ that does virtually everything an iPhone can do (except linking to my Mac, of course).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I just preordered my 512GB note 10+ and it’s still $400 cheaper than the iPhone XS Max 512 GB. Apple is too expensive for no reason

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Never mind: Apple can hike the price of their "services" to those who already bought an iPhone. That should work for a couple of years. I don't know how they will get around Trump's tariffs though: higher prices or lower profits, that's what you get for putting all your production in China.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some of the low-end Androids, around $300-$400, are extremely capable right now. Differences with the top-end models are subtle. There is less and less reason to get an iphone. (I never found a reason.)

Meanwhile, Apple has abandoned many of its Mac users with the doomed "trash can" model, its limited but really, really pricey successor, and taking forever to bring its stale macbook line up to speed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Apple made Linux somewhat interesting, but found it themselves to be rather less money making so are ditching it.

The future in Tech is with distributed services .... Apple is trying to catch up, and has potentially the money to do so... though how so, go Open Source or Proprietary ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not all the Mobile users can afford for iPhone, but OPPO, Hua Wei and Chinese smartphone are affordable price and everybody can afford to buy one. Also, Samsung smartphone line-up is including cheap and affordable smartphone for third world country but Apple has non.

If Apple want to be No,1 smartphone seller and then reduce the price that everybody can afford to buy one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My iPhone 10 XR 128MB costs me ¥4,500/month from au.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

People realised that they don't need a phone that's more powerful that their laptop. They need it to take pictures and video and text. That's it. Mid-range phones can do that and a whole lot more and the market is absolutely flooded with them, there's too much choice.

Saying 'such-and-such company dominates the smart phone market' doesn't mean much when the largest player only has 23%. It's more like the market is flooded and there's nowhere to go but sideways or down.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My iPhone 10 XR 128MB costs me ¥4,500/month from au.

Sounds like a specious way to pretend that it doesn't have a final price.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


Sounds like a specious way to pretend that it doesn't have a final price.

No not really. i'm happy to pay ¥4500/month for an iPhone XR plus calls plus data. I'm also happy it includes Applecare and theft insurance. After two years I can update to another model.

The final price of the iPhone XR is high.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was going to replace my 7 year old iPad 3 but instead decide to buy the iPhone XR instead. My first phone in more than 10 years because I changed to a more countryside location and decided I needed a phone. I don't regret my decision although I might also buy an iPad mini when they become available in the refurbished dept.

I use the Facetime to my relatives in Europe/America. Could use Skype but we prefer Facetime. All but one of my computers are macs so the iPad and iPhone works very well with them.

I do know some mac people who prefer a Samsung phone.

At $1,599, the most expensive model of the Samsung Galaxy S10 costs $150 more than the best iPhone. Samsung's upcoming foldable phone will retail for $1,980, making it one of the most expensive devices on the market.

Most of what I buy is from the refurbished which saves money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Next month we will upgrade the wife's iPhone Plus for an iPhone XR. We will get a good trade in price of about ¥35,000 off the model price of about ¥75,000.

Unlimited calls/I GB DATA/Applecare/Update program/

Our combined monthly bill will actually decrease by about ¥3,000/month or ¥36,000/year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No not really. i'm happy to pay ¥4500/month for an iPhone XR plus calls plus data. I'm also happy it includes Applecare and theft insurance. After two years I can update to another model.

Cagey. Somewhere in there is the price of the phone. What the customer pays for the device. It's not a present.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

0 Apple gadget in my life, keep my wallet healthy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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