According to a recent global smartphone market analysis carried out by TrendForce, Samsung may lose its top spot to Apple in the fourth quarter of the year. The market intelligence firm estimates that the Korean company's smartphone market share will drop from 21.1 percent in the third quarter of the year, down to 18.2 percent in Q4, leaving enough room for Apple to squeeze by with a 19.1 percent share.
In terms of sheer smartphone production capacity, Samsung reached its highest point in the third quarter of the year with a total volume of 81 million units being manufactured. This allowed the company to retain its top place in Q3, however, TrendForce estimates that this may no longer be the case in the next quarter as the Korean company is expected to scale back the production of its high-end devices throughout Q4, in the wake of Apple's latest iPhone models gaining ground. Reportedly, while Apple's production yields for the iPhone X have so far been lower than expected, the iPhone production volume in the fourth quarter will reach a total of 81 million units, out of which 33 percent will amount to the iPhone X. This will allow the Cupertino-based tech giant to increase its market share from 11.5 percent in Q3, up to 19.1 percent in Q4, 2017, taking the lead in the global smartphone race.
As for other manufacturers, Huawei is expected to retain its third position in Q4 2017 with a 10.6 percent market share, followed by OPPO with 7.2 percent. Additionally, Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is also expected to drop on the sixth spot with a 5.5 percent market share, allowing Xiaomi to secure 6.6 percent of the market and climb one spot up the ladder to fifth. Meanwhile, projected strong sales of the new iPhone models could increase the quarterly global smartphone production volume by 10.5 percent from a total of 384 million units in the third quarter of 2017, up to 424 million units in Q4. TrendForce also estimated that a total of 1.46 billion smartphones will have been shipped throughout the entirety of the year, implying that yearly global shipments will remain relatively flat compared to 2016.