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This 2018 was the "worst year" for the smart phone market

Global smart phone sales recorded the worst fall in 2018, and the 2019 prospects are not much better, according to new market research.

The number of mobile phones sold worldwide fell 4.1% in 2018 to a total of 1.4 billion units, according to IDC, which sees the potential for further decline this year.

"The world's smart phone market is currently a disaster," IDC analyst Ryan Reith said.

"Out of a few high markets such as India, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam, in 2018, we have not seen much positive activity."

Reith said the market is affecting consumers longing to replace their phones, frustrated by the high cost of premium devices and political and economic uncertainty.

The Chinese market, which accounts for about 30% of smartphone sales, is particularly hit by 10% drop, according to IDC's analysis, which was released on Wednesday.

IDC said that the top five smartphone manufacturers have strengthened and now account for 69% of global sales, compared to 63% a year ago.

Samsung has remained the leading mobile phone manufacturer with 20.8% market share, despite a drop in sales of eight percent a year, according to IDC.

Apple managed to recover position number two with a market share of 14.9%, ahead of Huawei with 14.7%, the investigation said.

IDC said sales of smartphones in the fourth quarter fell by 4.9%, which is the fifth consecutive quarter falling.

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