Canalys: U.S. is now No. 3 smartphone market after China and India

Apple, up 0.5% year over year, held third place after Samsung (down 13%) and Huawai (up 33%).

From a report that landed on my desktop Wednesday:

Worldwide smartphone shipments fell by 7% in Q3 2018, a fourth consecutive quarter of decline. This was also the worst third quarter performance since 2015. China’s smartphone market had another disappointing quarter, only shipping 100.6 million units, a year-on-year decline of 15.2% and sequential decline of 2.9%. India overtook the US this quarter to be the second largest market, though both countries were hit by weaker seasonal performance compared with last year. Seven of the top 10 markets recorded year-on-year declines, caused by lengthening smartphone replacement cycles, worsening international trading conditions and competition from major Chinese vendors...

At the vendor level, Samsung was the only company to post a year-on-year decline, of 14%, which pushed its market share down to 20.4% from 22.0% in Q3 2017.  Huawei took second place ahead of Apple, shipping 52 million units after growing 33% year on year. Apple grew by just 0.4%, shipping 47 million units. Xiaomi and Oppo rounded out the top five, shipping 33 million and 31 million units respectively. All Chinese vendors combined now account for 52% of the worldwide smartphone market, their highest share in history.


My take: They're still going to estimate unit shares, no matter what Apple does.



  1. Fred Stein said:
    Watch Huawei. They are fierce, funded, and smart. They are right behind Apple as a TSMC customer (Chips really matter). And they’re invisible to us in the US.

    On the positive for Apple is the un-counted used phones sales, which run at about 50% of new.

    Final note: While Canalsy reports 7% negative sales growth, Apple announced 20% increase in Installed base (that included all Apple devices). That suggests used iPhones are eating into the Android market.

    November 7, 2018
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    Market share, as used by the industry, measures the share of new items being sold. It’s a flawed metric as it does not take into consideration installed base churn.

    Android (by way of example) could have a static base of two billion users buying 750 million units yearly, while Apple has an expanding base of one billion users buying 250 million units yearly.

    On the surface “market share” would indicate that Android is dominating the industry with a “market share” of 66%, but is losing installed base share each year.

    If handset unit sales have plateaued and begun receding (they have), then the future of Apple and Android is selling additional products and services into their respective bases and Apple is the dominant firm. Additionally, Android users (for many reasons) are not add-on buyers, not even close to the extent that iPhone buyers are.

    In my opinion, analysts like Zhang totally miss this point with their focus being on unit sales.

    As to Apple’s “rank” among handset manufacturers, it should be noted that Apple is the only manufacturer with a handset ASP exceeding $350, and does so by a factor of 2.3X.

    November 7, 2018

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