Chinese trio carve up a quarter of global smartphone sales in Q1: Gartner

Chinese trio carve up a quarter of global smartphone sales in Q1: Gartner

The global smartphone market grew 9.1per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to Gartners latest stats, and growth is being driven by a trio of Chinese device makers.

Smartphonesales in the quarter totaled 380 million units, with Chinas top three mobile makers, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, collectively carving outalmost a quarter (24 per cent) of those sales, according to the analyst, up seven percentage points year on year.

The analyst says smartphone buyers are spending a bit more to get a better device, which is pushing up theaverage selling pricesof devices and positively affectingthe three makers as theyhave focused on adding higher end features at affordable price points.

Aggressive marketing and sales promotions have also helped the threegrow by takingshare in markets such as India, Indonesia and Thailand.

The top two smartphone makers by global marketshare, Samsung and Apple, faired less well. Samsungs sales declined3.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, to leave it with 20.7 per cent of the market. While Apples sales were flat,meaning its marketshare shrunk to 13.7 per cent down from 14.8 per cent year on year.

While Samsung has said preorders for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus wereup 30 per cent year on year, Gartner flags the absence of the Note 7 which the companyrecalled and ultimately discontinuedlast year after problems with exploding batteries as a contributing factor to its Q1sales decline, along with what the analystdubs fierce competition at the entry level smartphone segment thats playing into the hands of the Chinese device makers.

Apple is alsoincreasingly facing fierce competition from Chinese brands, Gartner says, dubbing its performance in the market asunder attack and noting that third placed Huawei edged closer, racking up sales of34 million units inthe quarter.

Despite Huawei holding third place in the global smartphone ranking steadily for multiple years its also under pressure from domestic upstarts, with Oppo continuing to catch up growing its sales 94.6 per cent in the quarter and retaining its number one position in China.

Fourth placed Oppos focus on selling via a large network of bricks-and-mortar retailers is helping it beat market incumbents such asSamsung and Huawei, according to Gartner, while its focus on camera, fast charging and offline retail has helped it growsales internationally.

Fifth placed Vivo sold close to26 million smartphones in the quarter, grabbing 6.8 per cent marketshare, withgrowth of 84.6 per cent. Gartner says its seeing growth from emerging markets in Asia/Pacific, including India, where Vivossales grew more than220 per cent.

How far can Android go?

On the OS front, its very clearly now a tale of two: Android and iOS, with Chinese smartphone makers success helping Googles platform grow its share by two per cent in the quarter, to take 86.1 per cent of the market. While iOS declined from 14.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent, year over year.

Gartner says it expects continuedgrowth from Android thanks to Googles announcement of Android Go, which targets the entry-level smartphone segment. So the question really ishow far can Android go in terms of marketshare?

The other smartphone OS category shrank to just 0.2 per cent marketshare, clockingsales of around 820,000 units inthe quarter.

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