A formidable trio of Chinese phone makers -- Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo -- has collectively claimed 24 percent of the 380 million units of smartphone devices sold across the globe during the first three months of this year, according to the latest report recently released by research firm Gartner. The solid sales numbers of these three mobile manufacturers from China contributed immensely in driving the worldwide smartphone market to grow 9.1 percent.
As pointed out by Gartner, it appears that mobile users of today are spending a tad more money than usual in order to own a better handset. The effect of this buyer behavior is that devices now have a higher average selling price. This trend has only made smartphone offerings from Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo even more appealing -- these phone makers have always tried to offer devices with quality specs for a cheaper price, and with average prices going up, the Chinese trio effectively have a price advantage over the competition. It also helps that the companies are aggressively promoting their products in emerging mobile markets in the Asian continent, including India, Indonesia, and Thailand.
While it is true that industry leaders Samsung and Apple have remained the world’s top two phone makers, their Q1 2017 numbers suggest that things may not be as rosy as hoped. The South Korean phone maker saw its sales decrease 3.1 percent during the first quarter of this year, while Apple registered flat sales, reducing its market share to 13.7 percent (compared to the 14.8 percent it posted in Q1 2016).
Nobody can deny that Samsung really did well in setting new records with regards to the preorder sales numbers of its current flagship devices (the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus), but the discontinuation of its Galaxy Note 7 phablet last year still hurt. The absence of Galaxy Note 7 sales, plus mounting pressure from Chinese phone makers such as Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo, may have contributed significantly in its quarterly sales decline.
Even Apple may be feeling the pressure from Chinese phone makers, at least according to Gartner. Sure, the iPhone maker remains solid at number two, but Huawei may be not be far behind for long -- during the months of January, February, and March this year, the Chinese phone maker sold 34 million units of smartphone devices, which is not bad. To make matters more interesting, one can also argue that even Huawei itself may be feeling threatened with Oppo and Vivo. Huawei may be number three in the world, but in China, it has since lost the throne to Oppo.
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