China-based handset makers shipped a total of 194 million smartphones worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2019, up 0.6% on quarter but down 4% on year, Digitimes Research has found.
Smartphone shipments from Chinese vendors will continue to fall on a yearly basis in the first quarter of 2020 as the local economy and job market in China will remain weak and the replacement demand for 5G models has yet to emerge. Their overseas shipments will also be trending downward amid unfavorable market conditions.
It will be particularly difficult for Chinese handset vendors to ramp up their shipments to retail channels in China in the first quarter due to higher inventory levels that channel operators built up in the previous two quarters.
While managing to maintain its status as the top handset vendor in China, Huawei saw an annual decline in overseas shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019 after losing Google's GMS (Google Mobile Services) support.
Overall shipments from three other top-four vendors - Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo - posted both sequential and yearly growths in the fourth quarter thanks to robust overseas shipments.