Samsung and Apple remain leaders, but Chinese phones leading growth: IDC report
Despite fears of stagnation, the global smartphone market is growing and Chinese smartphone makers have a major role
Chinese smartphone makers continue to be the key drivers of growth in the smartphone market. According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker report for the first quarter of 2017, global smartphone market registered a growth of 4.3%, and the biggest drivers of this growth are Chinese brands such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.
Samsung retains number one position
Samsung has replaced Apple as the number one smartphone brand of 1Q 2017 in terms of market share and shipments, globally. Apple was the leading phone company in fourth quarter of 2016 with market share of 18.3%, while Samsung came a close second with market share of 18.1%.
In 1Q 2017, Samsung shipped 79.2 million units and holds 22.8% market share. Their total shipment in 1Q 2016 was 79.2 million and market share was 23.8%.
In 1Q 2017, Apple shipped 51.6 million units, up from 51.2 million units in the same quarter last year, but the market share has gone down from 15.4% to 14.9% during the same period.
The IDC report points that the discounts and deals on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge allowed Samsung to clear out the inventory. While budget and mid-range smartphones in the J series and A series helped drive volumes in both emerging and developing markets.
The dragon onslaught
The three Chinese smartphone makers, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, registered better year-on-year growth in terms of global smartphone market share compared to more established rivals such as Samsung and Apple.
Huawei, which also sells smartphones under the Honor sub-brand, shipped 34.2 million units and reported a market share of 9.8 %, up from 28 million shipments and a market share of 8.4% in 1Q 2016. The company registered a year-on-year growth of 21% and is currently the third-biggest smartphone seller after Samsung and Apple.
Oppo and Vivo, which occupy the fourth and fifth slot, reported an even better year-on-year growth of 29.8% and 23.6%, respectively.
Oppo shipped 25.6 million units and has a market share of 7.4%, up from 19.7 million units and 5.9% market share in 1Q 2016. Vivo shipped 18.1 million units and has a market share of 5.2%, up from 14.6 million units and 4.4% market share in 1Q 2016.
The IDC report attributes Oppo and Vivo’s success to their camera-focused smartphones and expansion outside of China. Almost a quarter of all Oppo shipments were made outside China. Vivo’s emphasis on marketing efforts, especially in India, has improved its brand presence. Despite its failure to make a mark in the US market, Huawei has done well in both premium and affordable segments in China.
Strong demand for smartphones
Despite the concerns about stagnation in the smartphone market last year, 1Q 2017 saw a steady growth. A total of 347.4 million units were shipped worldwide in 1Q 2017, marking an increase of 4.3% from the 332.2 million units shipped in 1Q 2016. “The first quarter smartphone results further prove that the smartphone industry is not dead and that growth still exists," said Ryan Reith, program vice-president with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.