Huawei, Apple buck Q2 smartphone trends – report

It's no surprise that the volume of smartphone shipments is shrinking, as store closures and a tightening of consumer purse strings – in the wake of COVID-19 – take their toll.

According to market research firm Omdia, overall Q2 shipment volume was down a hefty 15.7%, year-on-year, to 229.7 million units.

New course: The coronavirus pandemic has seen smartphone shipments plummet.  (Source:Nick Fewings on Unsplash)
New course: The coronavirus pandemic has seen smartphone shipments plummet.
(Source:Nick Fewings on Unsplash)

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, though, volume was up a slivery 1%. It suggests the worst might be over for the market (when seen from a global perspective), but that assumes strict lockdown measures are not widely reintroduced to combat "second waves" of the pandemic.

Samsung will certainly hope there are better times ahead. Omdia figures show the South Korean behemoth lost pole position in Q2, dislodged by Huawei.

The Chinese supplier, buoyed by a resurgent domestic market, snagged a 20% global smartphone share during Q2 (55.8 million units), up from an 18% market share the previous quarter.

Source: Omdia
Source: Omdia

Year-on-year, Huawei's Q2 shipment units were down a comparatively modest 4.9%.

Samsung was not so fortunate. Q2 shipments plummeted nearly 28%, year-on-year, to 54.3 million.

Many of Samsung's most important markets, noted Omdia, were significantly impacted by COVID-19, especially emerging markets, which apparently accounted for more than 70% of Samsung's overall shipments in 2019.

For its part, Samsung is hopeful of a Q3 smartphone recovery, helped by the launch of new flagship models, including the Galaxy Note and a new foldable phone.

Apple takes bigger bite
Apple was one of the few OEMs to increase Q2 shipment volumes, year-on-year (up 13.1%, to 39.9 million units).

The iPhone SE, a model with mid-range pricing, coupled with the iPhone 11, helped Apple expand its unit shipments, and cement its third-spot position with a market share of 14% (up from 11% in Q2 2019).

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"With the launch of the iPhone SE in April, Apple has released a long-desired product, with an attractive price," said Jusy Hong, director of smartphone research at Omdia.

"For existing iPhone users who needed to upgrade their smartphones in the second quarter, the new SE represented an affordable option that does not require a large downpayment or high monthly repayment rates," added Hong.

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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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