The latest data from Gartner shows that smartphone shipments increased by 9.1 percent yearly in Q1, 2017 to 380 million units. The growth in the market, however, benefitted Chinese OEMs like Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo the most, with the market share of leaders like Samsung and Apple dwindling.
While Samsung continued to be the world’s biggest smartphone OEM in Q1, 2017, its shipments declined by 2.6 percent. The company’s market share fell to 20.7 percent in Q1, 2017 compared to 23.3 percent a year ago. Apple was also not immune to the aggressive marketing from the likes of Oppo and Vivo as its market share fell to 13.7 percent from 14.8 percent.
Samsung’s market share was affected by the lack of a proper alternative to Galaxy Note 7 and the delayed launch of Galaxy S8 and S8+. The launch of its new flagship handsets in Q2, 2017 should help the company regain some of its lost market share though.
Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo continued their aggressive growth, with Oppo especially catching up to Huawei. While Huawei had a 9 percent market share in Q1, 2017, Oppo was just 0.9 percent behind at 8.1 percent. More impressively, the company managed to post an impressive growth of 3.5 percent on a yearly basis.
All the three Chinese OEMs combined accounted for 24 percent of the smartphone market and this is despite their limited available, though they have been making inroads in other Asian markets like India. In particular, Vivo saw its sales increase by over 220 percent in India thanks to its aggressive marketing and excellent product portfolio.
“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.”
The way Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have been growing aggressively despite their limited presence, it’s just a matter of time before they topple market leaders Samsung and Apple from their position. However, the launch of the iPhone 8 and the Galaxy Note 8 later this year from the two companies should help them in resisting competition from their Chinese competitors.