Smartphone shipments decline in Q2, but the market is stabilizing, IDC says

Meanwhile, the top vendors held onto significant market share at the expense of smaller players.

Worldwide smartphones shipments in Q2 declined 2.3 percent year-over-year, according to IDC. Vendors shipped a total of 333.2 million phones. While the overall smartphone market remains in decline, there's signs that it's stabilizing, IDC said. Shipments were actually up 6.5 percent over the previous quarter. 

Samsung, Huawei and Apple maintained their positions as the top three vendors.

The Q2 pick-up is due in part to the availability of better mid-tier devices offering premium features for relatively low prices. "Combine this with intensified and generous trade-in programs across major markets and channels and upgrading now makes more sense to consumers," IDC research manager Anthony Scarsella said in a statement. 

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Meanwhile, the top vendors held onto significant market share at the expense of smaller players. The consolidated market looks increasingly like the PC market, IDC noted. The top five vendors accounted for 69 percent of the total market volume, and the top 10 vendors accounted for 87 percent. 

Samsung shipped 75.5 million smartphones in Q2, returning to annual growth of 5.5 percent. Huawei shipped 36.4 million units and saw its shipment volumes in China hit an all-time high. 

Apple was the only vendor in the top 5 that saw its market share decline year-over-year (from 12.1 percent to 10.1 percent). The company shipped 33.8 million new iPhones in Q2,down significant ly from the same quarter a year ago. However, as Apple pointed out in its earnings call earlier in the week, the iPhone installed base continues to grow.

The biggest declines in the market were in China and the US. The Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan and China) saw shipments up more than 3 percent, fueled by growth across India and many Southeast Asia markets.