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Smartphone sales barely budge in 2019 for Samsung

Mar 05,2020
Samsung Electronics reported slow smartphone sales growth in 2019, but it managed to maintain its spot as the No. 1 seller of the devices globally.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner said on Tuesday that the Korean tech company’s share in terms of smartphone units was 19.2 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from 2018.

The U.S. research firm said that the total was helped along by a strong showing in terms of budget model sales.

“Samsung successfully revamped its mid-tier and entry-level smartphones in 2019. To attract price-conscious buyers of premium smartphones, it launched the Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite in early January 2019,” Gartner said in the report.

Samsung sold 296.2 million units globally in 2019. Huawei had a 15.6 percent share, selling 240.6 million devices. Unit sales for the Shenzhen, China?based company were up 2.6 percent.

The rivalry between the two companies will likely remain intense as they do battle in foldable phones.

“The fierce battle between Samsung and Huawei in the foldable phone market will be interesting to follow this year, as each vendor takes a different approach,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner. “Samsung has switched from a horizontal to a vertical fold with the Galaxy Z Flip and reduced this phone’s size and price. Huawei has launched the Mate Xs - with Huawei Mobile Services now accessible via the Huawei AppGallery worldwide and increased its price.”

Apple fell to No. 3 as its market share fell to 12.6 percent last year from 13.4 percent in 2018, when it came in second place.

In the fourth quarter Apple beat Huawei as iPhone sales grew.

“A slight lowering of the prices of the iPhone 11 series, compared with the iPhone XR, and other price reductions for previous-generation iPhone models increased demand. It also helped Apple regain the No. 2 position,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]