iPhone shipments slip as Samsung surges

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
Weak demand for the 2018 models hurt iPhone sales in Q3 2019.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s two largest competitors enjoyed growth in smartphone sales last quarter, with both Samsung and Huawei up. iPhone sales dropped, however.

The market analysts at Canalys credited the decline to weak demand for the 2018 iPhone models as customers anticipated Apple’s 2019 offerings.

iPhone sales in Q3 2019

Apple no longer reveals the exact number of handsets it sells, but analysts fill in. Not that they all exactly agree.

Apple’s shipments fell 7% to 43.5 million units in the July-through-September period, according to Canalys. Rival market-research firm Counterpoint says the figure was actually 44.8 million, for a 4% decline.

These iPhone sales estimates are only modestly affected by the iPhone 11, as it debuted at the end of September. There’s plenty of evidence this new handset is selling well in Q4.

“iPhone 11 has launched to strong reviews,” said Canalys research analyst Vincent Thielke. “It has tangible improvements in camera and battery life, and its discount versus the iPhone XR was a welcome surprise to consumers.”

Samsung and Huawei in Q3

Samsung phone sales increased 8.4% year-over-year, up to 78.4 million units, reports Counterpoint. This is due to strong Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy A series sales.

Rival Huawei boosted its Q3 2019 shipments to 66.8 million, up 29% YoY, according to Canalys.

For the quarter, Apple’s weak iPhone sales gave it 12.3% of the global smartphone market, while Samsung had 22.4% and Huawei had 19%, according to this same group of researchers.

Source: Counterpoint and Canalys