Samsung Won 2018 Global Smartphone Shipments Race, But Huawei Is On The Attack

Earlier this week we talked a bit about the Indian smartphone market where Apple and Samsung found stiff competition from OnePlus. OnePlus led the premium smartphone market overall for Q4 2018 in India, yet it didn't even turn up in the global figures. The numbers from market research firm Canalys are now out for the overall global smartphone market during 2018. Samsung was again at the top of the list for the entire year despite a 7.2% decline in sales.

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Canalys data shows that Samsung shipped 293.7 million handsets to own 21.2% of the global device market. That is a decline compared to the 2017 full-year numbers when Samsung shipped 316.6 million smartphones. The data seems to indicate that the market is saturated and may have hit its peak leaving sales and shipment decreases as the new normal.

In Q4 2018, Apple and Samsung both saw declines in shipments to the tune of 7% and 5% respectively. Interestingly, while the industry stalwarts are facing sales declines globally, Chinese firms are seeing their sales boom. Huawei may not be able to sell devices in the U.S., but it still saw shipments increase by 47%.

Apple's Q4 2018 shipments totaled 71.7 million giving it 19.8% of the global smartphone market. Samsung sat in second place in Q4 2018 with 70.3 million units moved. Huawei was in third place with 60.5 million units, Oppo in fourth with 31.8 million units shipped, and Xiaomi in fifth with 26.4 million units shipped. The remainder of the vendors shipped a total of 101.8 million units in Q4 2018.

For the entirety of 2018, Apple was in second with 212.1 million units shipped, Huawei was third with 206.0 million units shipped, Xiaomi in fourth with 120.3 million units, and Oppo sat in fifth with 119.6 million units shipped. All other global smartphone makers added up to 436.1 million handsets shipped in 2018.