The Chinese market, which accounts for approximately 30% of smartphone sales, was especially affected with a 10% drop.
Global sales of smartphone registered their worst contraction in 2018, and the outlook for 2019 is not much better, according to new market research.
The figures for mobile phones sold worldwide declined 4.1% in 2018 to a total of 1.4 billion units, according to research firm IDC, which sees the potential for further declines this year.
“Around the world, the smartphone market is a disaster at the moment,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith. “Outside of a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Vietnam, we did not see much positive activity in 2018.”
Reith said the market has been affected by consumers who wait longer to replace their phones, frustrated by the high cost of premium devices and political and economic uncertainty.
The Chinese market, which accounts for approximately 30% of smartphone sales, was especially affected with a 10% drop, according to the IDC analysis, which was published on Wednesday.
IDC said the top five smartphone makers have grown stronger and now account for 69% of global sales, compared to 63% a year ago.
Samsung remained the number one phone maker with a market share of 20.8%, despite a drop in sales of eight percent in the year, IDC said.
Apple managed to recover the number two position with a 14.9% market share, ahead of Huawei with 14.7%, according to the investigation.
IDC said that smartphone sales in the fourth quarter fell by 4.9%, the fifth consecutive quarter of decline.