In brief: The latest IDC report on the state of the smartphone market has been released, showing that the industry was down 6.6 percent year-over-year in the first quarter. And while Samsung and Apple saw their shipments fall, it was a good period for Huawei, which has once again passed Apple to take the second-largest share of the market.

Total shipments for Q1 2019 stood at 310.8 million units, down from 332.7 million units a year earlier. Despite its YoY change declining 8.1 percent, Samsung still held on to the number one spot with a 23.1 percent market share.

It was an even worse quarter for Apple. The iPhone maker's shipments fell from 52.2 million units to 36.4 million. Big rival Huawei, on the other hand, saw its numbers jump by almost 20 million units compared to a year earlier. The tech firms spent 2018 swapping between the number two and number three positions, but the Chinese company is now above Apple once again.

Huawei's success comes despite its ongoing battle with the US government. If it weren't for the company shipping 59.1 million smartphones during the last quarter, up from 39.9 million in Q1 2018, the industry would be looking even less healthy.

With 71.9 million shipments, Samsung remains at the head of the pack. It controls almost a quarter of the market but Huawei is catching up. The Korean firm's recently posted quarterly profits were down 60 percent, but that was due to weak chip performance---it said the Galaxy S10 phones "logged solid sales."

"It is becoming increasingly clear that Huawei is laser focused on growing its stature in the world of mobile devices, with smartphones being its lead horse," IDC program vice president Ryan Reith said in a statement. "The overall smartphone market continues to be challenged in almost all areas, yet Huawei was able to grow shipments by 50%, not only signifying a clear number two in terms of market share but also closing the gap on the market leader Samsung. This new ranking of Samsung, Huawei, and Apple is very likely what we'll see when 2019 is all said and done."

Main image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr