Gartner, the Stamford, Connecticut-based research and advisory firm that deals in all this tech, has released its report regarding global smartphone sales in Q1, 2016. According to the report, about 349 million handsets were sold during the quarter, resulting in a 3.9% growth over the corresponding period last year. According to the company, sales were driven primarily by the high rate of growth in emerging markets, where the shift from third-generation mobile technologies (3G) to 4G LTE is making users opt for newer, LTE-enabled handsets. Gartner is also reporting that Android continued its total dominance in the sector by commanding a whopping 84% of the market even as Apple registered its very first double-digit decline on a year-on-year (YoY) basis with a 14% drop in global sales.
It's not just Apple either that has suffered a disappointing first quarter this year. The report indicates that smaller and newer smartphone vendors have been able to extend their market shares against larger incumbents, most of whom are struggling to hold their own against their younger challengers. According to Mr. Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, such a churn has allowed many Chinese brands to carve out large chunks of the smartphone market for themselves in recent times, and that trend just got underscored again with the latest results. In Q1 2015, three Chinese brands – Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi – together accounted for 17 percent of the global smartphone market, and even though a large majority of their sales continued to come from their homeland, the companies made some giant strides abroad as well.
Taking a look at individual companies and how they managed to perform during the quarter, Samsung continued to sit pretty at the top of the pile with 81.18 million units sold during the quarter, which gives it a market share of 23.2% globally. Apple came in at number 2 with 51.62 million units sold, giving it a 14.8% share of the global smartphone pie. Meanwhile, the three aforementioned Chinese vendors came in at numbers 3, 4 and 5 in that order, with sales of 28.86, 16.11 and 15.04 million units respectively. However, it wasn't all smooth sailing for Chinese OEMs, as Lenovo found out to its detriment. The company's global sales fell a whopping 33% YoY during the quarter, while its market in China contracted by an astounding 75%, kicking it out of not just the global top five, but the top ten as well.