China leads growth ins smartphone market in Q3

Enterprise Innovation editors
Enterprise Innovation

Three Chinese vendors — Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment — jointly accounted for 21% of the smartphones sold to end users globally in Q3 of 2016.

The trio were the only smartphone vendors in the global top five to increase their sales and market share during the quarter, according to Gartner.

"China led the growth in the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2016," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "Sales of smartphones in China grew by 12%, and the vendors who most successfully exploited the sales opportunities there were Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment.”

In Oppo's case, 81% of its smartphone sales came from China, while BBK accounted for 89% of smartphones sales in China. These two vendors also grew strongly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Russia.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 373 million units in the third quarter of 2016, a 5.4% increase over the third quarter of 2015. However, overall sales of mobile phones fell by 1.3%, largely due to the declining popularity of feature phones.

Samsung had a good start to the quarter, but the battery problem that caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire led to lower sales of the company's high-end and high-profile line of Note products.

Samsung's smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2016 as a whole declined 14% year over year — their worst performance ever. Samsung's previous worst performance for smartphone sales was a 12% drop in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Apple's iPhone sales continued to fall in the third quarter of 2016, with a 6.6% decline. Apple accounted for 11.5% of the global smartphone market, its lowest share since the first quarter of 2009.

Huawei is closing the gap with Apple. In the third quarter of 2016, there was less than a three percentage point difference in market share between them in the smartphone market.

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