Apple beats Samsung in global Q4 2017 smartphone shipments, Samsung takes full-year crown

With so much recent focus on India from both market-leading smartphone vendors and research firms, we almost forgot global shipment numbers for the final quarter of 2017, as well as the year as a whole, were never released to begin with.

Of course, the International Data Corporation (IDC) and Strategy Analytics didn’t forget to track the industry’s overall evolution, and total shipments made by the top five smartphone manufacturers in the world, concluding Q4 2017 was an unusually slow timeframe for nearly everyone.

Xiaomi managed to impressively boost its share and shipments, from around 3.3 percent and a little over 14 million units back in Q4 2016 to 7 percentage points and 28 mil or so between this past October and December.

Meanwhile, Apple, Samsung, Huawei and OPPO all saw their figures (marginally) decline year-on-year, which naturally led to a drop in shipments for the entire mobile device industry. It was in fact “the biggest annual fall in smartphone history”, according to Strategy Analytics, from 438 to just 400 million units.

Apple once again defeated its Korea-based arch-rival during the lucrative holiday season, topping the OEM charts with 77.3 million unit shipments and a 19.2 or 19.3 percent market share, compared to a little over 74 million units and between 18.4 and 18.6 percentage points for Samsung.

Huawei followed in third, with a steady 10+ percent slice of the pie, while Xiaomi surpassed OPPO for fourth place in IDC’s chart, settling for fifth as far as Strategy Analytics is concerned.

Both research companies agree OPPO was ahead of Xiaomi for the full year, despite the latter’s mind-boggling growth, with Samsung, Apple and Huawei ranked in this order on the global podium with largely unchanged numbers from 2016.

All in all, there were either 1.472 or 1.5 billion smartphones shipped worldwide in 2017, which represents either a drop of less than 1 percent or a 1 percent progress over the 2016 tally. One thing’s certain – this is one oversaturated market.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).