How serious and dangerous is China’s offensive on Korean and Western mobile hardware brands? Extremely, according to research conducted between January and March by IC Insights, which predictably positioned Samsung and Apple atop the smartphone manufacturer hierarchy, only followed by a flurry of handheld vendors based in the Middle Kingdom.
Huawei naturally won bronze during Q1 2016, with 28.9 million units sold, still considerably behind the gold and silver medalists’ 81.5 and 51.6 mil scores respectively. But OPPO exceeded its most optimistic expectations, leaping from eight place in 2015 to fourth, as it shipped 16.1 million affordable, mid-range Androids.
Xiaomi retained the fifth spot, Vivo surged from tenth to sixth, Korea-based LG dropped a slot to #7, while ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Meizu and Micromax wrapped up the top twelve. No Sony, no Microsoft, no HTC, and no more Coolpad in the leading pack, with IC Insights forecasting an identical chain of command at the end of the year.
A number of Chinese OEMs, including Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Meizu, plus India’s Micromax, are tipped to register massive year-to-year growth of between 29 and 74 percent, whereas Samsung, Apple or LG should see shipment declines ranging from 1 to 5 percent. But the Korean and US giants will remain the top two smartphone makers… for the time being.