With the hazardous Galaxy Note 7 out of the picture, both the S7 and iPhone 7 pairs on the decline in wow factor and mainstream popularity, the S8 and LG G6 launched a little late, and Apple’s recent announcements not exactly earth-shattering, you may have expected first-quarter global smartphone sales to take a dive.
But at least compared to the same timeframe of 2016, worldwide Q1 numbers were surprisingly on the rise, according to preliminary International Data Corporation (IDC) research, from 332.9 to 347.4 million units respectively.
That 347.4M count, mind you, is in stark contrast with TrendForce’s volume estimations of roughly 307 mil shipments a couple of weeks back, though both market intelligence firms rank Samsung, Apple, Huawei, OPPO and Vivo in the same order as the top five vendors nowadays.
While Samsung and Apple “remained essentially flat” in IDC’s reports, at around 23 and 15 percent share and 79 and 51 million unit sales respectively, a “handful of Chinese OEMs” continued their accelerated international growth trend, representing the “largest catalysts” of the industry’s year-on-year surge of nearly 15 million copies, or 4.3 percent.
We’re talking primarily domestic leader Huawei, up around 6 million units from Q1 2016 on the back of P, Mate, Y Series and Honor brand success, as well as OPPO and Vivo, which thrived thanks to camera-focused R9s and x9 models respectively.
Of course, none of the three rising Asian manufacturers is particularly popular in the West, especially stateside, which they’ll probably need to change in order to sustain long-term growth.