Smartphone sales up 3.9pc to almost 350m in Q1

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Huawei saw shipments grow by more than 10m YOY, while Oppo doubled market share to secure fourth spot

The number of smartphones sold in the first three months of the year grew by 3.9 per cent to almost 350 million, according to figures from Gartner.

Samsung maintained its position as the largest smartphone vendor with a 23.2 per cent share of the market, though sales remained flat at 81 million.

iPhone sales declined for the first time in history, though Apple remained the second largest vendor with a 14.8 per cent share, down from 17.9 per cent in Q1 2015.

Third and fourth placed Huawei and Oppo saw the biggest increase in shipments, up 10 million each year on year. The former saw its sales hit 28.8 million for the quarter, while Chinese vendor Oppo marked its entry into the top five vendors by shipping 16.1 million smartphones.

Xiaomi rounded out the top five with 15 million device sales, up slightly year-on-year, while the “others” category made up a 44.8 per cent share of the market, with 156 million sales.

“In a slowing smartphone market where large vendors are experiencing growth saturation, emerging brands are disrupting existing brands’ long-standing business models to increase their share,” said Gartner research director Anshul Gupta.

“With such changing smartphone market dynamics, Chinese brands are emerging as the new top global brands. Two Chinese brands ranked within the top five worldwide smartphone vendors in the first quarter of 2015, and represented 11 per cent of the market. In the first quarter of 2016, there were three Chinese brands – Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi – and they achieved 17 per cent of the market.” Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.21.12

Android takeover

Android continued to dominate the operating system market, taking a 84.1 per cent share in Q1, up from 78.8 per cent in the previous year. 293 million handsets using Google’s operating system were sold in the quarter overall.

Android was the only operating system to see its market share grow, as iOS fell from 17.9 per cent to 14.8 per cent.

Just 2.4 million Windows phones were sold during the quarter, down from 8.2 million the previous year, while Blackberry’s operating system made up just 0.2 per cent of all sales.

As mature smartphone markets are reaching saturation, Google is pursuing new revenue growth opportunities by expanding the reach of its platforms in cars, wearables, connected homes, immersive experiences and more,” said Gartner research director Roberta Cozza.

“Despite the Android platform’s advancements and its dominant market share, the challenges of profitability remain for a number of Android players. This will have an impact on the vendor landscape where new or more innovative business models will increasingly become key to succeed.”

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