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Smartphone sales down for fourth straight quarter

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Staff Writer | November 5, 2018
Global smartphone sales fell for a fourth consecutive quarter in the period through September, suggesting a challenging market for device makers awaiting catalysts to spark sales, researchers said.
iPhone XR
World   355 million handsets were delivered
A report by research firm IDC showed 355 million handsets delivered in the third quarter, a year-on-year decline of six percent.

"IDC maintains its view that the market will return to growth in 2019, but at this stage it is too early to tell what that growth will look like," the report said.

A separate survey by strategy Analytics showed an eight percent drop in sales to 360 million units.

"The global smartphone market has now declined for four consecutive quarters and is effectively in a recession," said Strategy Analytics director Linda Sui.

"The smartphone industry is struggling to come to terms with heavily diminished carrier subsidies, longer replacement rates, inventory buildup in several regions, and a lack of exciting hardware design innovation."

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple's iPhone sales of 46.9 million units suggested the California giant is focusing on price increases, capping its overall volume growth.

Samsung remained the top vendor with just over 20 percent of sales, according to both surveys.

Chinese-based Huawei held second place with over 14 percent and Apple remained third with roughly 13 percent.

The fourth and fifth largest, respectively, were Chinese device makers Xiaomi and Oppo.