A lack of innovation in smartphone features is limiting the desire to replace serviceable phones, the market research firm said. If the demand outlook deteriorates together with concerns over the US-China trade war, the decline in smartphone production may reach 5 percent in 2019.
TrendForce predicts that Samsung will remain the market leader in 2019 while Huawei will take second place from Apple.
Top six global smartphone brands by market share 2013 to 2019. Source: TrendForce.
Samsung produced 293 million smartphones in 2018, a year-on-year decline of 8 percent but that it should creep back up in 2019 to maintain a 20 percent share, TrendForce predicts. Chinese brands are gradually gaining market share by pursuing the emerging overseas markets and the low-end of the market.
Huawei’s production volume increased by 30 percent YoY in 2018 to 205 million units in 2018 with success coming through a displacement of Apple in China and forays into overseas markets such as Europe and South America. As China's leading smartphone brand Huawei could be more affected by the US-China trade war.
Apple's 2018 was affected by lower than expected iPhone sales in the second half of the year with a result that Apple's production dropped by 3 percent compared with 2017. Apple was affected by a ban on sale of some iPhone models and high pricing of the new iPhones. Trendforce predicts that Apple's production will decline to 189 million units in 2019 and its market share drop 2 points to 13 percent. If the tension in US-China trade becomes worse this year, Apple’s production volume may decline further.
Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo will retain the fourth, fifth and sixth position respectively in the global smartphone brand ranking for 2019, the same as 2018, TrendForce said.
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