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(Reuters) - Apple Inc iPhone sales in China fell 20 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, while sales for smartphones made by home-grown rival Huawei soared by 23 percent, data from industry research firm IDC showed on Monday. The report is the first to put a firm number on the scale of a recent decline in Apple’s fortunes in the world’s second largest economy, after Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook pointed to China as a big factor in a rare cut in the company’s quarterly sales forecast last month.

Apple no longer breaks out detailed numbers on iPhone shipments in its quarterly results, meaning that surveys and channel checks by the likes of IDC are often the clearest indicator of shifts in sales, The figures in the report showed a 19.9 percent fall in Apple’s smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2018, while Huawei’s grew 23.3 percent, That reduced Apple’s market share to 11.5 custom cufflinks and tie clip percent from 12.9 percent a year earlier, the report said, “Besides regular performance upgrades in 2018 and small changes to the exterior, there has not been any major innovation that supports users to continue to change their phones at the greatly increased price,” the report said..

“The severe macro environment in China and the assault of domestic brands’ innovative products have also been reasons for Apple’s continued decline.”. A separate report from another common industry source, Hong Kong-based Counterpoint, earlier this month confirmed a similar sharp fall in sales in India - another big emerging market where Apple is struggling. Counterpoint said iPhone sales in the fourth quarter, which includes India’s electronics sales-heavy Diwali festival, fell 25 percent on the year, reducing total sales in 2018 to 1.7 million units from 3.2 million a year earlier.

STOCKHOLM/NEW YORK (Reuters) - custom cufflinks and tie clip Jessica Reznik likes IKEA’s prices but not do-it-yourself, So when the Swedish furniture giant said a handyman on odd-jobs site TaskRabbit could assemble her new dresser and nightstand in her New York apartment, she jumped at the offer, Reznik, a 24-year-old teacher, is just the kind of busy millennial IKEA hoped it would attract when it bought TaskRabbit www.taskrabbit.com in September 2017 as part of a drive to offer a range of services complementing its trademark flat-pack furniture..

The world’s biggest furniture retailer’s focus on services is a major strategic shift it has been forced to adopt as waves of new competitors in an increasingly online world erode its dominance. It seems to be working. In the first readout on TaskRabbit’s activity since IKEA bought it, executives told Reuters the number of jobs done by TaskRabbit handymen had more than doubled and 10 percent of the tasks were furniture assembly, up from 2 percent previously. Jesper Brodin, chief executive of Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores, said TaskRabbit was expanding into interior design and looking at services such as furniture repair to give IKEA an edge, while TaskRabbit’s customer data could help IKEA come up with new ideas for furniture.

“As this community grows, it’s not only about fixing one or two things but actually to add professionalism in interior decoration, into ‘life at home’ practicalities,” Brodin said at TaskRabbit’s San Francisco headquarters, “TaskRabbit is a super interesting business case because it is scalable, not only geographically but also into services at home,” custom cufflinks and tie clip he said, Using TaskRabbit to bundle same-day delivery and assembly for IKEA is another service being rolled out, TaskRabbit Chief Executive Stacy Brown-Philpot said..

AFTER-MARKET BATTLE. Winning the battle for online shoppers is crucial for IKEA. While online furniture retailing was relatively slow to take off, the market is now flooded and the battle is increasingly in after-market services. The United States is IKEA’s second-biggest market behind Germany, with 14 percent of its sales. GlobalData Retail analyst Neil Saunders put the overall U.S. home furnishing market at $282 billion in 2017. But he said IKEA’s share was 2 percent, down from 2.2 percent in 2014 and well below Germany, where it has as 12 percent share.

Pure custom cufflinks and tie clip online furniture retailers such as Germany’s Home24, Britain’s MADE and Wayfair in the United States have been growing rapidly, Online generalists such as Amazon are pushing furniture while some hypermarkets are also branching out into home furnishings, Walmart and Wayfair have also started offering inexpensive assembly services in the United States through TaskRabbit rival Handy www.handy.com, On Monday, home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel announced a partnership with Handy, offering furniture assembly and home decor installation across the United States..