Apple iPhone sales nosedive 13.5% in second quarter, Gartner says

Gartner says iPhone customers don't see enough benefit in new models to replace their old iPhones. (FierceWireless)

Global sales of smartphones dropped 1.7% in the second quarter of 2019, according to researchers at Gartner, while iPhone sales plunged 13.5%.

The demand for high-end smartphones slowed at a greater rate than for mid-range and low-end phones, said Anshul Gupta, a Gartner analyst, in a statement on Tuesday.

Gartner put sales at 368 million units for the second quarter. Huawei and Samsung had the strongest sales increases, up 16.5% and 3.8% respectively. Together they accounted for more than a third of total smartphone sales worldwide.

The position of Huawei is interesting because the company did experience a sharp decline in smartphone sales in the quarter due to the U.S. blacklisting of Huawei products in May. Strong promotions in China, however, led to record Huawei sales in that country, up by 31%.

Samsung did finish in the top spot for smartphone sales in the quarter, with 75.1 million units sold, giving it 20.4% of the market, Gartner said. Huawei was second with 58 million sold and 15.8% of the market. 

Apple iPhone sales dropped to 38.5 million, down from 44.7 million a year earlier and putting Apple in third position with 10.5% of the market. Apple’s decline year-over-year was 13.8% but the decline was not as bad as the first quarter of 2019, Gartner said.

Gupta said there aren’t enough incremental benefits with the newest iPhone models to replace their older units. He noted that Apple is shifting its business towards services, which made up 21% of Apple’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2019.

China and Brazil were the only countries to show smartphone sales growth of the top five countries in smartphone sales.

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