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According to a new report by IDC, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 375.4 million units during the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q18), down 4.9 percent year over year and the fifth consecutive quarter of decline.
The quarter closes out the worst year ever for smartphone shipments with global smartphone volumes declining 4.1 percent in 2018 with a total of 1.4 billion units shipped for the full year.
"Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
"Outside of a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam, we did not see a lot of positive activity in 2018," Reith said.
IDC said despite all the challenges the smartphone market is facing, the largest focal point remains the China market as recovery continues to get pushed further forward.
However, Samsung leads the global smartphone market with 18.7 percent share.
IDC said Samsung saw smartphone volumes decline 5.5 percent in 4Q18 with total shipments of 70.4 million units. While this was enough to maintain the top position for the quarter, its share once again fell below 20 percent to 18.7 percent, just a few points above Apple and Huawei.
While, Apple saw iPhone volumes drop 11.5 percent in 4Q18 marking one of the more challenging iPhone quarters in terms of growth, despite the three new models and Xiaomi rounded out the top 5 in 4Q18 with full-year shipments up 32.2 percent year over year and volumes surpassing the 100 million market.
Furthermore, Huawei continued to capitalize on strong momentum in some markets with 4Q18 volumes up 43.9 percent year over year and 2018 volumes up to an impressive 33.6 percent. OPPO finished 4Q18 in the fourth position with full-year shipments of 113.1 million, up 1.3 percent from 2017.