ICT Insights

Smartphones Returned to Growth in First Quarter of 2018

While Huawei and Xiaomi Experienced the Largest Growth in the Quarter, Apple Returned to Growth After Sales Declined Last Quarter.

Continued weakness in Greater China's mobile phone market also limited growth potential for the top global brands, including Chinese brands such as OPPO and Vivo, with over 70 percent of their sales coming from Greater China.


Samsung's midtier smartphones faced continued competition from Chinese brands, which led to unit sales contraction year on year. This is despite the earlier launch of its flagship Galaxy S9/S9+ compared to the S8/S8+ in 2017, and despite the Note 8 having a positive impact on Samsung sales in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung's smartphone growth rate will remain under pressure through 2018, with Chinese brand's growing dominance and expansion into Europe and Latin America markets. Samsung is challenged to ??raise the average selling price (ASP) of its smartphones, while facing increasing competition from Chinese brands that are taking more market share.


In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Google's Android and Apple's iOS achieved growth in units in the first quarter of 2018, but Android saw its share slightly contract (see Table 2).



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