Gartner recently released its sales report for smartphones during Q4 2018, and it makes for mixed reading.

The research firm notes that sales in general for the quarter stalled somewhat, growing only 0.1 percent compared to the same period for 2017. More specifically Gartner pegs the total number of units sold during Q4 to 404.8 million.

As for why this is the case, they say that the demand for high-end smartphones declined quite a bit, despite there being a growing interest in the entry-level and mid-range market.

“Demand for entry-level and midprice smartphones remained strong across markets, but demand for high-end smartphones continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2018,” said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner.

“Slowing incremental innovation at the high end, coupled with price increases, deterred replacement decisions for high-end smartphones. This led to a flat-growth market in the fourth quarter of 2018,” Gupta adds.

Among the top five vendors, it was Apple that suffered the most, with the Cupertino-based firm declined by 11.8 percent year-on-year to 64.5 million units. This double-digit dip is also the biggest by any of the top five vendors.

Conversely Q4 2018 proved fruitful for Huawei. The Chinese vendor saw the strongest growth out of any of the top vendors during this latest quarter, selling more than 60 million units and further closing the gap between itself and Apple to sit solidly in third place.

Whether this trend will continue in 2019 remains to be seen, but given the fact that Samsung has just unveiled a swathe of flagship devices, and the likes of Huawei, LG, Sony and others are readying to do the same for MWC 19, we doubt it will.

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