Weak Q3 sees iPhone sales drop by 10.7%

If there’s one thing that Apple desperately needs right now, it’s for its latest iPhone range to notch up strong sales during the upcoming holiday period.

This doesn’t seem likely though: a report issued recently by technology research experts Gartner says that Apple is experiencing a global drop in iPhone sales, while its two biggest competitors continue to gain market share at its expense.

The report says that there has been a 10.7% drop in iPhone sales during Q3 compared to the same time last year, to only 40.8m.

Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta said that this drop shows a change in consumer buying patterns: people no longer feel obliged to buy the next model the moment it is released.

He went on to say that the smartphone user of today is choosing mid-tier smartphones over premium-tier ones as they offer better value.

Gupta added that despite offering discounts and promotions in many markets, Apple remained unable to boost global demand.

The market shift towards more affordable phones has benefited companies such as Huawei and Samsung.

According to Gartner’s data, Samsung increased its market share to 20.4%, while sales of phones increased from around 73m to 79m. Huawei increased its market share to 17%, with sales increasing to 65.8m.

Apple managed to cling to its position as the third biggest smartphone seller globally, but its market share dropped from 11.8% to 10.5% between Q3 2018 and Q3 2019.

Apple seldom has a strong Q3, since this period typically only includes one or two weeks’ sales from the latest iPhone range. Q4 should be much better, driven by demand from holiday shoppers.

Gupta concluded by saying that all smartphone manufacturers were likely to benefit from the holiday season, with turnover driven by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The introduction of 5G should further boost smartphone sales next year.

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