Worldwide smartphones shipments declined 2.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter with Apple shipments plunging 18 percent, according to the International Data Corporation's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
Vendors shipped 333.2 million phones in the second quarter, an increase of 6.5 percent over the previous quarter.
China and the United States experienced the sharpest quarterly declines. However, the declines in China during the first half of 2019 have been less severe than the second half of 2018, suggesting some recovery is under way.
Huawei's shipment volumes in China hit an all-time high and accounted for 62 percent of its 2Q19 total with 36.4 million units.
Meanwhile, pressure on China's factories eased a little in July, but overall manufacturing activity remained in contraction as a trade war with Washington dented export orders, a private survey showed. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for July rose to 49.9 from 49.4 in June, and just below the neutral 50-mark dividing expansion from contraction on a monthly basis.
"China's manufacturing economy showed signs of recovery in July. Policies such as tax and fee reductions designed to underpin the economy had an effect," Zhong Zhengsheng, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group, said.
However, China's US$300 billion (HK$2.34 trillion) in tax cuts aimed at stimulating its slowing economy are starting to hurt the revenues of debt-ridden provincial governments, with poor western regions suffering the most from squeezed budgets, a Reuters analysis showed.
In other news, many global auto suppliers are even more pessimistic about Chinese vehicle output this year than some research firms, with suppliers bracing for greater pains than the single-digit percentage declines predicted by the industry.
China's central bank, meanwhile, refrained from immediately following the US Federal Reserve in cutting borrowing costs, signaling its preference to continue with the current targeted easing approach.