The global smartphone market has registered a growth of 4.3% YoY during Q1 2017 with overall shipments of 347.4 million units, as opposed to the 332.9 million handsets that were shipped worldwide during the same period last year. Samsung, Apple and Huawei have retained their top three positions with 22.8%, 14.9% and 9.8% shares of the global smartphone market respectively, while OPPO and Vivo rounded out the top 5. While market leader Samsung managed to ship 79.2 million units during the quarter in spite of the Galaxy Note 7 controversy, Apple did 51.6 million units, whereas Huawei shifted 34.2 million units worldwide during the first three months of this year. Samsung and Apple, however, both lost market-share with growth stagnating during the period, while some of the more well-established Chinese vendors, such as Huawei, OPPO and Vivo made significant headway.
The top five vendors increased their collective market share from 57.9% to 60.1%, even though more companies continue to enter the industry with every passing year. As has been the norm in recent years, global tech heavyweights, LG, Sony and HTC, are nowhere to be found on the list, while Xiaomi, once the largest smartphone vendor in China, remains out of the global top five as the company continues to try and mend its fortunes in its homeland, even though its market share in India continues to soar. While substantial discounts on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge helped Samsung significantly during the quarter, the company’s Galaxy J-series and Galaxy A-series mid-rangers are also said to have sold well over the past year, helping the company cement its position at the top. Huawei not only retained the number three spot, but actually managed to close the gap with the two leaders after experiencing a massive 22% growth YoY during the quarter, shipping 34.2 million units as opposed to just 28.1 million units during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, even as China continues to remain the focal point for most of these Chinese smartphone brands, they have also been betting heavily on overseas markets for growth of late. In the case of OPPO, the brand was propped up by the success of its camera-focused R9s in China, although its growth in international markets have been even more spectacular. The company operates in a large number of emerging markets across the Middle East and Africa, but registered its highest growth in India and in South-East Asia. As for Vivo, the company’s selfie-focused X9 smartphone became a major success story in China, helping the company increase its market share in the country. The company is also focusing ardently on India and Indonesia, and is the title sponsor of the 10th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, which is expected to bring the brand even more visibility going forward.