Samsung and Apple still rule the smartphone market, but the Chinese makers are closing fast

- Adrian Ungureanu
528

Samsung and Apple are going to be the top dogs of the smartphone market for a while, but the Chinese companies are catching up fast as their sales are growing significantly every quarter.

According to latest Gartner report, global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 380 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a 9.1 percent increase over the first quarter of 2016.

Samsung and Apple are in the lead, but the market research company notes that the shift in buyer preference is positively affecting Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo in their strategy to build desirable features at affordable prices. Their combined market share in the first quarter of 2017 accounted for 24 percent, up 7 percentage points year on year.

“The top three Chinese smartphone manufacturers are driving sales with their competitively priced, high quality smartphones equipped with innovative features,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Furthermore, aggressive marketing and sales promotion have further helped these brands to take share from other brands in markets such as India, Indonesia and Thailand.”

Table 1. Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 1Q17 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor

1Q17 Units

1Q17 Market Share (%)

1Q16
Units

1Q16 Market Share (%)

Samsung

78,671.4

20.7

81,186.9

23.3

Apple

51,992.5

13.7

51,629.5

14.8

Huawei

34,181.2

9.0

28,861.0

8.3

Oppo

30,922.3

8.1

15,891.5

4.6

Vivo

25,842.2

6.8

14,001.0

4.0

Others

158,367.7

41.7

156,654.2

45.0

Total

379,977.3

100.0

348,224.2

100.0

Source: Gartner (May 2017)