Gartner: iPhone Sales Suffered Worst Quarterly Decline for Three Years Over 2018 Holiday Period

Apple recorded its biggest decline in iPhone sales for almost three years over the holiday quarter, according to new market research data by Gartner.

appleiphonelineupiphone7

gartner iphone sales q4 2018
Apple sold 64 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 73 million in Q4 2017. Those numbers followed a pattern of declining smartphone sales globally in Q4 2018, with growth of just 0.1 percent over the period and 408.4 million units shipped.

Despite retaining its second place position with 15.8 per cent market share behind market leader Samsung (17.3 percent), Apple bared the brunt of the decline, seeing its 18 percent global market share in Q4 2017 reduced to 16 percent in Q4 2018.

The analyst firm said ‌iPhone‌ sales were hit hardest in Greater China, where it found Apple's market share dropped to 8.8 percent in Q4, down from 14.6 percent in Q4 2017. Samsung also recorded a smaller market share over the holiday period year on year, recording 17 percent, down from 18 percent in 2017.

Third-placed Huawei closed the gap on Apple by selling 60 million phones in Q4 2018, up from 44 million in Q4 2017, expanding its share from 10.8 percent in Q4 2017 to 14.8 percent. Oppo, in fourth, registered 7.6 percent, up from 7.3 percent in Q4 2017, while Xiaomi took a 6.8 percent share, down slightly from 6.9 percent the previous holiday quarter.

"Demand for entry-level and midprice smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018," said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. "Slowing incremental innovation at the high end, coupled with price increases, deterred replacement decisions for high-end smartphones."

gartner smartphone sales 2018
For 2018 as a whole, global smartphone sales grew by 1.2 percent year on year, with 1.6 billion units shipped. Market leader Samsung saw a 1.9 percent decline in share and Apple lost 0.6 percent over the previous year, but Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo all saw overall gains of 3.2 percent, 2.1 percent, and 0.3 percent, respectively.

According to Gartner, Chinese brands actually boosted their overall sales thanks to broad appeal in emerging markets like China and India, while the worst declines of the year took place in North America and mature Asia/Pacific market regions.

Beyond the overall slowdown in the smartphone market, Gartner put Apple's poor quarterly performance down to buyers delaying upgrades and compelling alternatives from Chinese vendors.

"Apple has to deal not only with buyers delaying upgrades as they wait for more innovative smartphones, but it also continues to face compelling high-price and midprice smartphone alternatives from Chinese vendors. Both these challenges limit Apple’s unit sales growth prospects," said Gupta.

Last month, Apple issued a rare warning that revenue for the quarter would come in at least $5 billion below the company's original guidance, with Apple pointing to a number of factors including the later launch of the ‌iPhone‌ XR, general weakness in China, and fewer upgrades as customers took advantage of Apple's reduced pricing on battery replacements in 2018 to extend the lives of their current phones.

Apple later posted revenue of $84.31 billion and net quarterly profit of $19.965 billion, compared to revenue of $88.3 billion and net quarterly profit of $20.1 billion, in the year-ago quarter. However, even with the earnings warning, the quarter was the second-best in Apple's history in terms of overall revenue and profit, trailing only the first fiscal quarter of 2018.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that the company is "rethinking" ‌iPhone‌ prices outside of the United States and may lower prices to boost sales. Apple has already started lowering the price of the ‌iPhone‌ for third-party distributors in China, and price cuts could also be introduced in other areas like India and Brazil, where the ‌iPhone‌ is prohibitively expensive and has seen stalled growth due to high pricing.

Tag: Gartner

Top Rated Comments

sehns Avatar
34 months ago
On a positive note, this might actually help them remember they have a computer business.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdnz Avatar
34 months ago
Apple needs to lower the prices of the XS and XS Max by at least 300 euro in Europe. A possible 100 euro price drop isn't going to cut it. And even at that price point they're moderatly competitive compared to other brands. If you look outside west Europe, the price of an iPhone is a month's wage or sometimes even more.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skeith Avatar
34 months ago
Conclusion: Price is not high enough.

Let's do it again, Timmy!
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TroyBoy30 Avatar
34 months ago
And it likely won’t get any better for them. It’s just the beginning of the slide.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
okeribok Avatar
34 months ago
Maybe now we can get the SE2 in the size of the current SE, but with 4.5" display, waterproof, A12 processor and USB-C. And a headphone jack pls, because **** latency, lower audio quality and having another thing to charge.
For about $500.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iName Avatar
34 months ago
I mean what did they expect? The price of a flagship iPhone has nearly doubled in price in a pretty short amount of time. You can’t expect to be number 1 in smart phone sales at those prices when cheaper alternatives exist especially outside of the USA. That’s like Ferrari expecting to be the best selling car in the world.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac [Updated]

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Update 23/9: Apple has updated its support document indicating that this issue can be resolved by installing the latest macOS Big Sur 11.6 update. In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iOS 15 icon on phone

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to Developers

Tuesday August 17, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming one week after Apple released the fifth betas. Registered developers can download the profile for the iOS and iPadOS betas from the Apple Developer Center, and once the profile is installed, beta updates will be available over the air. iOS 15 is a major update that...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...