Smartphone sales in New Zealand rose over the fourth quarter by 10 per cent year-on-year, while global sales fell by 0.4 per cent.
According to research from Gartner, Apple stood out as the top vendor in the country, selling 165,000 thousand units in the quarter and holding 42.5 per cent market share.
In tied second place was both Samsung and Oppo with 60,000 units and 15.5 per cent market share each, and then Huawei with 47,000 units and 12.1 per cent market share.
Samsung was the top vendor globally with 70.4 million units in the quarter and a market share of 17.3 per cent. It barely beat out Apple, which came in at 70 million units and a market share of 17.1 per cent.
This was then followed by Huawei at 58.3 million and 14.3 per cent market share, Xiaomi at 32.4 million units and 8 per cent market share and Oppo at 30.5 million units and 7.5 per cent market share.
Of the top global vendors, only Apple and Xiaomi experienced growth. In Apple’s case, its growth of 7.8 per cent follows a year of declines.
“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 [number two] position,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.
Gartner research predicts Apple will launch its first 5G-enabled smartphone in the third quarter of 2020, encouraging users to upgrade in markets with 5G network services.
Xiaomi’s sales grew 16.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, year-on-year, which Anshul Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner, claimed was mostly due to the price and performance of Redmi models and the company’s performance in emerging Asia Pacific.
Gupta also said 2019 ended “a little better than expected” due to activity in North America and emerging Asia Pacific
“However, India, which sold 151.9 million units, overtook the U.S. to become the [number two] country for smartphone sales in 2019. China maintained the lead, with sales of 390.8 million smartphones over the full year.”
The impact of the coronavirus is expected to hit Chinese retail-focused vendors like Oppo and Vivo, while Xiaomi is anticipated to find opportunity in the outbreak due to the company expanding its online channel strategy.
For the whole of 2019, Samsung maintained its global position as top vendor with 296.2 million units sold and a market share of 19.2 per cent.
Huawei was second with 241 million units and market share of 15.6 per cent, then Apple with 193.5 million units and 12.6 per cent market share, Xiaomi with 126 million units and 8.2 per cent market share and OPPO with 119 million units and 7.7 per cent market share.
Of the five, Huawei experienced the strongest growth of 18.6 per cent, but its good fortunes could be reversed if it continues to be barred from accessing U.S. technology.
While the coronavirus is expected to hit demand negatively in China, Zimmermann added international demand is not expected to be affected.