Apple’s Smartphone Lead Over Huawei Falls Below 5%

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The global market for new smartphones in 2017 is forecast to reach 1.44 billion units, with the top six vendors accounting for more than 70% of the volume. Market leader Samsung Electronics is expected to see a slight decline from 22.7% share in 2016 to 22.6%, and second-place Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is forecast to see a similar share drop, from 15.8% to 15.7%.

The third-ranked smartphone maker, Huawei, is pegged to see market share rise from 10.2% in 2016 to 11.7%, just four points behind Apple. Two more China-based vendors are also poised for share gains: fourth-ranked Oppo held a 7.1% share in 2016 and its share is expected to rise to 8.3%, while fifth-ranked BBK/Vivo is expected to see an increase in its market share from 6.0% last year to 7.0% this year. Sixth-ranked LG Electronics is expected to grab a 5.5% share in 2017, flat year over year.

The data were released Friday by Taiwan-based research firm TrendForce just ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress set to open Monday in Barcelona.

In the smartphone market, the Chinese makers of cheap smartphones are the winners, although most of their gains are coming from small manufacturers, which combined for 32.8% of the market in 2016 but will only nab 29.1% of the 2017 market.

TrendForce has also forecast that year-over-year shipments of tablets will decline by 6.1%, from 157.4 million units in 2016 to 147.8 million units this year. The top seven vendors and their comparative market share totals are:

  • Apple: 27.0% share in 2016; 26.6% share in 2017
  • Samsung: 17.2% share in 2016; 16.8% share in 2017
  • Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): 7.0% share in 2016; 7.8% share in 2017
  • Lenovo: 6.9% share in 2016; 6.8% share in 2017
  • Huawei: 6.2% share in 2016; 7.2% share in 2017
  • Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT): 2.5% share in 2016; 1.9% share in 2017
  • Asus: 2.2% share in 2016; 2.2% share in 2017

The clear forecast winners in tablet market share are Huawei (up 1% year over year) and Amazon, with an increase of 0.8% year over year. Their gains come at the expense of the two leaders and Microsoft. The tablet category does not include two-in-one type PCs.