Global demand for smartphones remained weak in the third quarter, according to a new report.
Phone sales contracted by 0.4% compared to one year ago, Gartner reported. Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Chinese device maker Xiaomi lost market share, while Huawei, Samsung and others saw their shares of the smartphone market increase.
Apple's share of smartphone sales fell to 10.5%, compared to 11.8% in the third quarter of 2018. One reason may be that buyers are largely opting for mid-range models as opposed to costly, premium phones.
"For the majority of smartphone users, desire has shifted away from owning the least expensive smartphone," said Anshul Gupta, a senior research director at Gartner, in a statement. "Today's smartphone user is opting for mid-tier smartphones over premium-tier ones because they offer better value for money."
That trend is also apparent in recent breakdowns of iPhone sales. According to a recent analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the top-selling iPhone of the third quarter was the entry-level, year-old iPhone XR. Of the iPhone 11 lineup, the $700 base model was the best-selling phone of the quarter.
Although smartphone sales have been on the wane for some time, many analysts anticipate a pickup in demand in 2020 and thereafter as 5G network coverage improves in more countries. Additionally, the fourth quarter could deliver more smartphone sales, with vendors such as Samsung and Google (GOOGL) - Get Report expected to offer aggressive price promotions to spur sales, Gartner wrote.
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