Apple edged Samsung in Q4 smartphone sales, but OPPO and Huawei were the year’s star performers

Samsung may have won an arguably important Q4 2016 regional battle, as well as the full-year global smartphone shipment war, but Apple still broke earnings records during the October – December timeframe, also coming out on top over the holidays in Strategy Analytics research.

More than 78 million iPhones were sold worldwide in the year-ending three months, up from 74.8M in Q4 2015, and just ahead of Samsung’s latest 77.5 mil quarterly count, which was clearly impacted by the Note 7 debacle, dipping 5 percent annually.

Of course, one swallow does not a summer make, and Samsung easily prevailed in the overall 2016 volume hierarchy, beating Apple 309.4 million units to 215.4M. Both scores are however down from the previous yearly totals of 319.7 and 231.5 mil respectively, as a group of rising Chinese stars continue to chip away at the industry’s manufacturer duopoly.



Huawei is the predictable bronze medalist in both Q4 2016 and full-year contests, reaching double-digit quarterly market share for the first time, and surging an impressive 31.7 million units in total sales numbers for the year.

But believe it or not, it was OPPO rather than Huawei that earned “star performer” status, with a 99 percent annual share increase, and close to 85 million smartphones sold all in all, compared to less than 40M in 2015. In fifth place, Vivo enjoyed a remarkable progress of its own, from 3.3 and 2.7 percent share in Q4 2015 and 2015 as a whole to 5.8 and 4.8 percent respectively now. This five-way battle could get awfully interesting before long.

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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).