Market share leader Samsung posted shipment volume of 72.3 million in the quarter, down 13.3% from 83.4 million shipments in the third quarter of past year. In addition, growing markets like India and Indonesia are being changed by the rapid growth of other Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.
"China's domestic market continues to be challenged as overall consumer spending around smartphones has been down", said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
Samsung Electronics Co. kept its leadership in the smartphone market in the third quarter but had to look over its shoulder due to fast ascension by Chinese rivals.
Smartphone shipments fell 3.3 percent to 354.8 million units in Q3 2018, recording negative year-over-year growth rate for two consecutive quarters in 2018.
On the other hand, Huawei has sold 51.8 million units in the third quarter of this year, which is soar from 39.1 million from Q3 of 2017.
Samsung is more seriously losing market share-down from 22.1% to 20.3% year-on-year-with its shipments down around 13% year-on-year.
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Samsung remained the top smartphone vendor with 72 million shipments, a 13% drop from last year's Q3, while Huawei overtook Apple to claim second with 52 million shipped phones. This despite the company's troubles entering the US market and the slump of the global smartphone industry.
"Despite the decline in its home market, Chinese brands OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi reached new highs in smartphone shipments in a quarter", Pathak said. Shipments rose by 0.5 per cent to 46.9 million units but revenue rose by 29 per cent thanks to the price tag of the recently-launched iPhone XS and XS Max.
"The brands will further expand outside China as they push into Asia Pacific countries and Europe", he added.
Counterpoint said that some emerging markets, like India, showed double-digit growth, it was not enough to compensate for the volume decline in developed markets.
However, this also presents long-term growth opportunities for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), with many entering such markets with a view to increasing their sales, the report said. "This is also affecting local smartphone players in the emerging economies, which are struggling to maintain a foothold".