February 1, 2019: Global smartphone sales saw their worst contraction ever in 2018, and the outlook for 2019 isn't much better, new surveys show.
Worldwide handset volumes declined 4.1 percent in 2018 to a total of 1.4 billion units shipped for the full year, according to research firm IDC, which sees a potential for further declines this year.
“Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.
“Outside of a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, (South) Korea and Vietnam, we did not see a lot of positive activity in 2018.”
Reith said the market has been hit by consumers waiting longer to replace their phones, frustration around the high cost of premium devices, and political and economic uncertainty.