During the third quarter of 2016, worldwide smartphone sales are starting to come around as the global mobile industry begins to recover from a slump in the first six months of the year. But wait -- that growth appears to be driven not by familiar powerhouse names such as Samsung, Apple, and LG, but by Chinese phone makers like Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo.
According to research firm Strategy Analytics, the global volume of smartphone shipments rose 6 percent yearly to 375 million units during the third quarter of this year. Samsung remains the overall leader with a worldwide market share of 20 percent, but Chinese players seem to be showing the most improved growth. Oppo, for instance, grew 140 percent yearly, easily outperforming other brands in Q3 2016.
As noted by IDC, the top five phone makers in the most recent quarter basically remain the same compared to the previous quarter. Indeed, Samsung retains its lead, followed by Apple, and then a trio of China based manufacturers, namely Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo. But by looking deeper, anyone can see that Chinese brands are faring significantly better than Samsung, Apple, or LG.
Obviously, Samsung was truly affected by the failure of one of its flagship devices, the Galaxy Note 7 phablet, reporting declines in revenues and profits. And even though its fierce rival Apple registered shipments of 45.5 million smartphone units during the third quarter this year, that number is still a marked decrease from the 48 million units the iPhone maker posted during the same period last year. As for LG, despite the warm reception of its flagship G5 smartphone, it had suffered a loss in the amount of $381 million, due to the fact that it had only sold 13.5 million smartphones in Q3 2016, which is down 9 percent compared to Q3 2015.
Meanwhile, the rest of the top five are performing relatively well, with Oppo and Vivo posting the best gains. As for the latter, it entered the top five for the first time ever, thanks to its 5 percent worldwide smartphone market share (its best ever; last year, it captured only 3 percent). Huawei has maintained its number 3 position, enjoying a 9 percent market share in Q3 2016, improving upon its 8 percent share in Q3 2015. However, its smartphone growth rate has more than halved to 26 percent yearly during the most recent quarter (last year, it reported a 62 percent yearly growth).
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