Apple has shipped more than 65.9 million iPhone units during the first fiscal quarter of 2019 (Q4 2018). Strategy Analytics reported this. The new report came a day after Apple officially revealed that their iPhone install base hit the 900 million units mark during the quarter. They said that they had an overall customer base of 1.4 billion active devices, and this clearly indicated an increase in 100 million compared to last year. Canalys, in a quarterly report, said that Apple’s annual growth in the smartphone market globally had declined by about seven percent because of the reduction in the number of iPhone shipments.
Strategy Analytics highlighted that Apple had shipped 65.9 million iPhone units in the first fiscal quarter of this year (which is the fourth quarter of the last calendar year). The shipments represented a 15 percent year-over-year decline in comparison to their 77.3 million iPhone units which had been shipped during the first fiscal quarter of last year.
Strategy Analytics mentioned that the market performance in the last quarter had been disappointing and the shipments rate sharply due to high prices of the phone, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, longer ownership cycles, and very high competition from Chinese players. This is what Apple clarified with the investors as well. The company also decided upon reducing the prices of their iPhone models in selected countries due to offset currency fluctuations.
Canalys also provided a detailed quarterly report that mentioned Apple’s annual growth in the global smartphone market which reduced by 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Chinese companies, such as Huawei and Oppo, have seen positive growth in the last quarter (47.3 percent and 20.6 percent respectively, with 60.5 million units and 31.8 million units respectively) – allowing to the increase in shipments of their smartphones.
Canalys highlighted the fact that the iPhone XR (priced at Rs 72,484) had emerged as the top model in the overall iPhone lineup and had more than 22 million shipments in Q4. This followed the iPhone XS Max (priced at Rs 101,899) and iPhone XS (priced at Rs 92,433) which had been shipped more than 14 million and nine million units, respectively. China also posed a major challenge for the iPhone maker, and their shipments continued to decline. For the entire year, Apple shipped 293.7 million smartphones, and this was reported by Canalys. Apple had a 15.3 percent market share, and its successor Samsung had a 21.2 percent share.
Canalys report stated thus- “Apple will focus more on growing their services revenue, and will rely on their sticky installed base of users. But vendors like Samsung and Huawei have been providing cheaper and competitive alternative devices; Apple will have to soon launch a cheaper iPhone, or at least get more flexible with channel discounting, which will safeguard the same installed base upon which they have their bet, who are the future as well.”
Samsung also saw a decline in their shipments due to tough competition from their Chinese rivals. The South Korean company shipped 294 million smartphones in the year 2018, and this was 23 million less than the number of units which had been in 2017, and this is a significantly lower than the target of their 320 million units. Samsung has been changing their strategy and proof is their launch of the Galaxy M series which aims at taking over offerings of Asus, Realme, and Xiaomi.
Huawei came third in the Canalys report list and had an annual growth of 34.5 percent during its full-year shipments (206 million units). The analyst firm added that even though Huawei’s shipments in the domestic market have been at 40 percent, the company has shipped 60 percent units in their foreign markets alone.
The political tensions regarding security concerns and disputes regarding intellectual property theft between Huawei and US Canalys might prove to be the key critical obstacles for Huawei in 2019.
Xiaomi also managed to stay on top and gain 31.6 percent year-over-year (120.3 million units shipped in 2018) and has overtaken Oppo (119.6 million units shipped in 2018) for their fourth place. Xiaomi shipped about 26.4 million units in Q4 2018. Oppo gained 6.9 percent growth annually for the entire year. Oppo shipped 31.8 million units in Q4 2018, and it has been placed ahead of Xiaomi in the quarter since it saw an 8.8 percent share in comparison to 7.3 percent.