IDC has just posted its Q1 2016 mobile phone tracker, which reports a flat growth for the global smartphone market. A total of 334.9 million smartphones were shipped which is a marginal 0.2% increase over the same quarter last year at 334.4 million.
Maintaining its top position is Samsung with 81.9 million units shipped, which is a 0.6% YoY decline (Q1 2015: 82.4 million) but they have maintained a strong market share of 24.5%. Among the top 5, Apple suffered the biggest hit as expected with its first ever decline in 13 years. They have shipped 16.3% fewer phones at 51.2 million units and they currently have a market share of 15.3%.
The Chinese brands are the biggest winners in the first quarter. While the top 2 are showing decline, the Chinese trio – Huawei, OPPO and vivo have shown tremendous growth in both shipments and market share. Huawei had shipped 27.5 million units, while OPPO and vivo shipped 18.5 million and 14.3 million respectively. Out of the three, OPPO was the fastest growing with a 153.2% growth in the first quarter.
According to IDC, Samsung remained strong due to its vigurous push for its new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge flagships. This is also aided by its affordable Galaxy J series in the emerging markets. For Apple, IDC reported that iPhone 6 owners may not be compelled to switch to the newer iPhone 6s/6s Plus. On the other hand, Apple hopes to tap into emerging markets with the iPhone SE. However, for the price, it faces more stiffer competition with more powerful and affordable Android devices in China and India.
Huawei is still dominant in their home ground China market and they are aggressively growing their presence out of China to clinch the top 3 spot. The Chinese brand takes a two-pronged approach with great focus on premium models like the P9, Mate and Nexus 6 as well as entry-level models from its honor line up.
As for OPPO and vivo, their biggest growth is said to be attributed to its push at lower-tier cities. OPPO’s marketing efforts are mostly leaning towards entertainment sponsorships while the vivo are focused towards pushing its audio capabilities. It’s been said before, the Chinese are taking over.
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