Samsung and Huawei beat Apple in Q1 smartphone sales

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iPhone XR screen bezels
Apple still ranks no. 1 in profits, though!
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Apple placed third in worldwide smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2019, suggest new figures from Gartner.

Samsung came in first place, with 71.6 million units sold in the three month period. Huawei followed in hot pursuit, with 58.4 million sales. Apple, for its part, sold 44.6 million units for the quarter: a decline of 17.6% year over year.

“The price cut for iPhones across markets helped drive up demand but wasn’t enough to restore growth in the first quarter,” said Gartner’s senior research director Anshul Gupta. “Apple is facing longer replacement cycles as users struggle to see enough value benefits to justify replacing existing iPhones.”

However, while the report doesn’t calculate profits, it’s worth remembering that Apple likely ranks an easy no. 1 in that department.

In total, 373 million units sold worldwide in the quarter. This marked a 2.7% decline. Gartner points out that a lot of the stalling growth is among the higher end premium handsets. This affects the likes of Apple, which has gradually increased the cost of iPhones to make up for slowing demand. But this has also meant that it’s even harder for Apple to grow its brand in places like India, where people spend less on smartphones.

Gartner pics
A look at smartphone sales for the last quarter.
Photo: Gartner

Despite Huawei’s recent challenges, it had a great quarter. The Chinese company achieved its highest year-over-year growth among the world’s top five companies. In all, it grew 44.5% over the quarter. “Huawei did particularly well in two of its biggest regions, Europe and Greater China, where its smartphone sales grew by 69% and 33%, respectively,” Gupta continued.

However, it’s highly likely that Huawei will struggle a bit more in the next quarter. That’s due to Google pulling its services from Huawei. That is likely to have a big impact on the company’s international smartphone business, which makes up around half of its phone business.

Source: Gartner