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Global Smartphone Production Drops But Units Created Still In The Hundreds Of Millions

A trend report shows that the global smartphone market shows a year-on-year decline of 10% but millions of units are still sold. Plus, major brands outline their areas of focus for 2019.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Pro (2)

TrendForce has released their latest data on the smartphone industry which, like the camera industry, has shown a year-on-year decline. However, it's only fallen by 10% and in the first quarter of 2019, they estimate the total global production of smartphones to hit the 307 million mark!

At the end of Q4 2018, the production volume of smartphones was at 383 million, a similar level to the quarter that came before it. 

Explaining why we've seen a slump, TrendForce says: "In response to the slacking consumer demand, branded smartphone makers scaled back their production in 4Q18 and paid more attention to inventory management. Looking ahead to 1Q19, they have set modest production targets due to the lower-than-expected sales in the previous quarter."

The Q1 production figures for this year show that Samsung will still be the market-leader with Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivio making up the top 6. According to the report, Samsung has been tweaking its strategy to challenge the Chinese smartphone manufacturers who also have smartphones in the high-spec but reasonably priced smartphone sector of the market.

Figures show that the Samsung Galaxy J Series accounts for almost 50% of Samsung's total smartphone production but TrendForce says this may change with a rise in the production of Galaxy A devices. 

Huawei Mate20 Pro (5)

Huawei took the second spot away from Apple with the introduction of the P and Mate series and it's rumoured that the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro could arrive during the 1st half of this year, further cementing their place as a market leader and staying ahead of Apple who, TrendForce says, will see a year-on-year decline of 26% in the number of iPhone smartphones produced. 

Contrary to the year-on-year decline, Counterpoint has reported that the premium smartphone sector grew by 18% and its expansion was also quicker than the overall smartphone market growth, too. This was driven by the popular brands listed above and, just to add to the fact-listing comments, the mid-range smartphone market was actually the sector with the largest % in the total of premium smartphone sales. This is probably down to the quality of the camera, good technology, excellent design and more reasonable price point these particular devices offer. 

As well as production figures, TrendForce has looked at what the big brands will be doing to make their smartphones better/more attractive to consumers and hardware optimisation is at the top of the list with a focus on better displays, cameras, capacity and biometrics. 

We've also put our tenpence-worth together on what smartphone trends, we think, will be big in 2019 which you can learn more about here: Smartphone Trends Of 2019

(Via TrendForce)

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18 Feb 2019 8:43PM
Have the smartphone marketing boyos not considered that by now, most people wanting a “smartphone” of some kind...have already bought one..which probably works very well for their needs...

Adding a few bells and whistles won’t make them ditch what they’ve got, for possibly equally high priced devices...It’s gotta be a very radical change in features to possibly tempt existing/new users to fork out yet higher prices...

A “folding” screen device wouldn’t tempt’s too fat....!

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