Worldwide Smartphones Sales Grew 9% in Q1 2017-Gartner

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The global smartphone market grew by 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2017 thanks to the Chinese phone makers Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.

The Chinese network-to-consumer-electronics builder increased its market share to 9 per cent during the first quarter from 8.3 per cent in the year-earlier period.

"Oppo continued to rally sales through a large network of brick-and-mortar retailers, beating market incumbents such as Samsung and Huawei", said Gupta, noting that Oppo's strategy - centred on the camera, fast charging and offline retail - has helped it grow smartphone sales in the global market. Samsung is in the lead, the company had managed to sell 78,671.4 million smartphones in Q1, and is now holding a 20.7 percent market share, which is a decrease compared to a year ago, as the company was holding 23.3 percent of the smartphone market back then.

Huawei, the third biggest smartphone maker with a nine percent share, saw its recent explosive growth eroded by its Chinese rivals.

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As more people around the world become smartphone users, a growing number of them are also willing to pay more for better devices, according to new data released today by the analyst firm Gartner Inc. Apple's performance is being threatened by Oppo, Vivo and other brands which may have hindered Apple from selling more iPhones in China.

The main reason for the decline of Samsung and Apple has to do with the rise of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, whose aggressive pricing structure and quality products provide the industry leaders with some stiff competition. While Samsung has hit a roadblock with the Note 7 in the premium segment, the Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo have made it a challenge for Samsung to stay on top in the mid range segments.

But, Oppo is continuing to catch up with Huawei, with Gartner showing the company with a 94.6% increase in worldwide smartphone sales in the first quarter, achieving the best performance of the quarter and retaining the No. 1 position in China. More importantly, however, neither of these two saw a sales jump precisely because of the increasing competition from Chinese brands.

Huawei is closing the gap with Apple with its sales amounting to 34 million units in the first quarter of 2017. Apple is the second, but its sales remained flat, which meant it lost ground in the growing market. Last year, Vivo's market share stood at 4% on 14 million unit shipments. Moreover, with Google's announcement of Android Go - targeted at the entry-level smartphone market - the OS is heading for continued growth (see Table 2).