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Huawei helps global smartphone shipments tick up

Partly thanks to record sales by Huawei, worldwide smartphone shipments increased 0.8% year over year in the third quarter of 2019, reversing seven quarters of decline

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Worldwide smartphone shipments increased 0.8% year over year in the third quarter of 2019, reversing seven quarters of decline, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. In total, companies shipped a total 358.3 million smartphones during the quarter, which was up 8.1% from the previous quarter and enough to return the industry to positive growth.

Digging into the growth areas, India led emerging markets in total, which together were responsible for propelling worldwide growth, mainly from the rise of Chinese brands. In China, greater consolidation toward the top 5 brands was the main trend in the quarter. The top Chinese brands all increased their local shipments in preparation for 11.11 or “Singles’ Day,” the Chinese equivalent of Black Friday for shopping in the U.S.

“Despite facing challenges across many international markets, Huawei doubled down on China in the third quarter,” says Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Samsung benefited the most internationally from Huawei’s woes, ramping up the more affordable A series, while in China the other domestic competitors felt the heat from Huawei.”

“The market returning to positive growth shows the resilience of this industry as well as the ongoing demand for mobile phones, all in the face of many global macroeconomic challenges,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “The number of factors in play for competition are incredible. It is clear Huawei continues to make big gains in China, which remains the world’s largest market. Apple beat many expectations and is driving strong volumes in mature markets that face equally challenging headwinds. And most importantly, the top 5 OEMs accounted for more than 70% of the world’s smartphone shipments for the first time ever this quarter. The industry and vendor landscape is still changing but the trend of consolidation is ramping along with it.”

Smartphone Company Highlights

Samsung gained share in 3Q19 with annual growth of 8.3% on the back of the Galaxy Note 10 launch in August and increased A series volumes, with a total of 78.2 million smartphones shipped. The lower-end to midrange A series in particular helped to fill in the gaps left behind by Huawei.

Huawei shipped higher volumes than expected as it shifted focus to its domestic market, particularly in lower-tier cities, and increased inventories given the unknown future with Google Mobile services. While a sentiment of nationalism has helped to bolster Huawei in China, solid relationships with the local channel players has been key, offering favorable distributor terms and a well-rounded product portfolio. Nevertheless, there will be challenges ahead with 4G inventory to clear while consumers wait for affordable 5G products to hit the market.

Apple shipped 46.6 million iPhones in 3Q19, which was a slight decline year over year but still better than most expectations. Apple continues to sell some refurbished iPhones via its own channels, which sustain and possibly grow the installed base, but also impact iPhone revenues. Newer iPhones, specifically the iPhone 11s and XR, did very well this quarter, capturing strong share in important markets like the U.S. and Western Europe.

Xiaomi for the first time saw less than a third of its shipments delivered domestically in China, which was second to India in volume. Domestically, despite its launch of the CC series to appeal to young female consumers, shipments declined under pressure from Huawei. The runway was clearer for Xiaomi in India, however, where it strengthened its offline presence by expanding its sales network via the Mi Store and Mi Preferred Partners.

OPPO also focused its attention outside of China as it approached the tipping point of nearly half of its shipments outside of China with domestic shipments focused on the Reno series and the A9. India experienced the strongest momentum internationally where the Reno series helped complete its product portfolio with higher-end offerings while the online-exclusive K series strengthened its online presence.

Top 5 Smartphone Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q3 2019 (shipments in millions)

Company3Q19 Shipments3Q19 Market Share3Q18 Shipments3Q18 Market ShareYear-Over-Year Change
1. Samsung78.221.8%72.220.3%8.3%
2. Huawei66.618.6%52.014.6%28.2%
3. Apple46.613.0%46.913.2%-0.6%
4. Xiaomi32.79.1%33.89.5%-3.3%
5. OPPO31.28.7%30.08.4%4.1%
Others103.028.7%120.734.0%-14.7%
Total358.3100.0%355.6100.0%0.8%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Q3 2019, November 7, 2019

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shot the lights out

The numbers are in, and it shows that the start of holiday season shopping in South Africa saw spectacular growth

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday continues to be a hit in South Africa, with both days exceeding expectations.  

“Black Friday did not disappoint,” says Solly Bellingan, head of customer relations at BankservAfrica. “Despite the tougher economy, it seems South Africans took advantage of the days’ special deals with in-store and online transaction volumes reflecting strong year-on-year growth. Both days have certainly made their mark amongst local retailers and shoppers,

South Africans shopped up a storm with the total number of Black Friday transactions processed by BankservAfrica, in-store and online, at 7,077,117 (*) in 2019 – 36% up from 2018’s 5,204,594. This translates into a total spend of R6-billion, an impressive 106% increase on 2018’s R2.9-billion.

When compared to 2018, it seems bargain hunters decided to get the best deals early with a 33% year-on-year increase in sales at midnight. The 12-hour period between 06:00 and 18:00 proved to be busiest, with similar volumes being processed each hour. The highest number of transactions processed in a 60-minute period was between 10:00 and 11:00 at a volume of 595,792.

“3D-Secure, our online card authentication service, i.e. transactions that require a one-time pin(**), showed steady growth this year with a 32% year-on-year increase on Black Friday and transaction volumes  reaching a total of  534,828,” says Bellingan. The busiest shopping times were between 09:00 and 10:00 in 2019 compared to the earlier start in 2018 at 08:00 to 09:00

“The most expensive online transaction recorded on Black Friday was for a hospitality purchase of  R10,067,400 by an international company. The most uses by one card was 83. During peak, we processed  717 transactions while the average was 371 per minute for the day.”

Cyber Monday was less active than Black Friday with a 42% growth in online transactions that reached a volume of 249,908 in 2019 (up from 176,595 in 2018). However, in both years, most of the transactions took place between 10:00 and 11:00, with the most expensive being R1,997,800 and 151 uses by one card. The highest average transactions per minute was 322 at peak and 173 per minute for the day.

“This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday data mirrors the global data of record-breaking sales – and the BankservAfrica featured figures are only a portion of the entire sales figures for both days,” says Bellingan. “It will be interesting to see if these manage to outpace festive season spend this year.”

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Amazon records biggest ecommerce day ever

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Amazon has announced that Cyber Monday was once again the single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, based on the number of items ordered worldwide. Customers all around the world shopped at record levels across a wide selection, with hundreds of millions of products ordered worldwide between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, alone. Customers purchased millions more Amazon Devices compared to the same period last year in Amazon’s Stores globally and the best-selling items were Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.

“We’re focused on making this holiday season more convenient than ever for our customers, especially given how short this holiday shopping season will be,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “We are thrilled that customers continue to come to Amazon in record numbers to discover what they need and want for the holidays. Thank you to our customers and employees all around the world for making this holiday shopping weekend the best yet.”

Holiday Weekend Highlights:

  • Customers worldwide purchased more toys this Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined than ever before. Among the tens of millions of toys purchased during this time period, best-sellers included LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader’s Castle, Monopoly Game: Disney Frozen 2 Edition and Hasbro games such as Jenga, Guess Who and Candy Land Kingdom of Sweet Adventures.
  • Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day for Amazon Fashion worldwide, with more items purchased than any other single day in the company’s history. Best-sellers included Carhartt Men’s Acrylic Watch Hat and Champion Men’s Powerblend Fleece Pullover Hoodie.
  • Amazon customers worldwide ordered more than 25 million home items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.
  • Best-sellers on Black Friday in the U.S. included Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Instant Pot Duo80 – 8 Quart, 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service: Personal Genetic DNA Test, L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Bigger Surprise and iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum.
  • Customers worldwide purchased more than four million beauty products this Cyber Monday compared to last year, with best-sellers including Oral-B Genius Pro 900 Electric Toothbrush, Lagunamoon Essential Oils Top 6 Gift Set and L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Makeup Lash Paradise Mascara.
  • Top-selling categories worldwide include Toys, Home, Fashion and Health and Personal Care.
  • The best-selling products in Amazon’s Stores on Cyber Monday in the U.S. included Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cookie Creations, Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker and LEGO City Ambulance Helicopter 60179 Building Kit.
  • Independent third-party sellers in Amazon’s Stores — mostly small and medium-sized businesses – sold more items during Cyber Monday 2019 than any other 24-hour period in the company’s history.
  • For the third year in a row, Whole Foods Market broke its all-time record of turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season.
  • Amazon delivered millions of grocery items to Prime members in the U.S. through the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Best sellers from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery included Honeycrisp apples, lemons and avocados.
  • Top selling items at Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star stores over the holiday weekend included the Amazon Smart Plug, Echo Dot and All-New Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Clock, L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls, Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14), and the Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision.

Record-Breaking Weekend for Devices

  • Shoppers purchased a record number of Amazon Devices globally this holiday weekend.
  • Amazon customers worldwide purchased millions more Amazon Devices, compared to the same period last year in Amazon’s Stores globally, including Echo devices, Fire TV devices, Kindle devices, and Fire tablets.
  • It was a record-breaking holiday shopping weekend for smart home devices in Amazon’s Stores globally with shoppers purchasing millions of smart home devices, including iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum, Furbo Dog Camera, and Wemo Mini Smart Plug.
  • The best-selling products in Amazon’s Stores globally were Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.

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