Chinese Smartphone Vendors Gain Market Share as Apple, Samsung Lose

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Galaxy S7
Source: courtesy of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Worldwide smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2016 rose 5.4% year over year to 373.3 million units. Overall sales of mobile phones, however, dropped by 1.3% compared with the third quarter of last year.

Samsung Electronics maintained its market share lead in the third quarter with sales to end users totaling over 71.7 million units to nab 19.2% of the global market. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) ranked second with sales of about 43 million units for an 11.5% share. In the third quarter of 2015 Samsung claimed 23.6% of the market with unit sales of more than 83 million, and Apple posted unit sales of more than 46 million units for a 13% share.

According to the latest report from Gartner, the only companies to post year-over-year market share increases in smartphone sales were China’s Huawei (up from 7.7% to 8.7%), Oppo (up from 3.4% to 6.7%), and BBK Communication Equipment (up from 2.9% to 5.3%).

Gartner Research Director Anshul Gupta said:

China led the growth in the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2016. Sales of smartphones in China grew by 12.4 percent, and the vendors who most successfully exploited the sales opportunities there were Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment. In Oppo’s case, 81 percent of its smartphone sales came from China, while BBK accounted for 89 percent of smartphones sales in China. These two vendors also grew strongly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Russia.

By operating system, Android from Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) held an 87.8% share of the market in the third quarter, up from 84.7% a year ago. Apple’s iOS share slipped from 13% in 2015 to 11.5% this year. Market share for Windows Phone from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) slipped from 1.7% in 2015 to 0.4% and BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) share dropped from 0.3% to 0.1%.