What just happened? Global smartphone shipments reached 366.3 million units in the third quarter of 2019, representing two percent growth compared to the same period a year earlier. That’s noteworthy as it is the industry’s first sign of positive growth in two years (since the third quarter of 2017), market research firm Strategy Analytics said in a recent report on the matter.

Samsung led the way, shipping 78.2 million smartphones during the most recent three-month period, an increase of eight percent compared to Q3 2018. This helped push Samsung’s global marketshare to 21.3 percent, from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Huawei finished with 66.7 million units shipped, up an incredible 29 percent. All others, including Apple, Xiaomi and Oppo, saw their shipments fall year-over-year.

Strategy Analytics Director Woody Oh said that despite the decline, Q3 2019 was Apple’s best growth performance since last year. “We believe Apple is stabilizing, due to cheaper iPhone 11 pricing and healthier demand across Asia and the United States.”

Apple shipments fell three percent YoY.

Canalys published its own findings on Thursday, reaching the same conclusion as Strategy Analytics – growth for the first time in two years.

Canalys’ report largely mirrors that of Strategy Analytics, with Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi and Oppo leading the pack, in that order. Their numbers are also very similar, off by just a couple hundred thousand units here or there. In total, Canalys claims 352.4 million units shipped in the quarter versus Strategy Analytics estimated 366.3 million.

Masthead credit: Smartphones by Josep Suria