Apple’s shipment of 78 million smartphones in calendar Q4 2016 equated to an 18 per cent market share and saw the US company overtake Samsung as the world’s number one smartphone vendor, Strategy Analytics revealed.
Neil Mawston, executive director at the research company, said “this was the iPhone’s best performance for over a year, as Apple capitalised on Samsung’s recent missteps,” referring to the vendor’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle.
Samsung came a close second, shipping 77.5 million smartphones in the last quarter of 2016, a 5 per cent decrease compared to 81.3 million units in Q4 2015 as the company lost “momentum as a result of its Note 7 fiasco.”
When it comes to full year performance, Samsung was still on top with shipments of 309 million units giving it a 20.8 per cent market share, though Mawston noted this was Samsung’s lowest share of the global market since 2011. Apple remained in second place for the full year, with shipments of 215.4 million devices and a 14.5 per cent share.
“Samsung will be banking on the rumoured Galaxy S8 model in a few weeks’ time to reignite growth and return to the top spot in quarterly smartphone shipments,” Mawston said.
Overall, global smartphone shipments grew 3 per cent year-on-year to a record 1.5 billion units in 2016, and increased 9 per cent year-on-year to 439 million units in Q4.
Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “This quarter was the smartphone industry’s fastest growth rate for over a year. Smartphone growth is recovering slightly due to stronger demand in major developing markets like China and Africa.”
Oppo, which ranked in fourth place behind Huawei, was described as a star performer after growing “a robust 99 per cent annually to capture a record 7 per cent of the market share in Q4 2016,” Sui said. The China-based vendor’s market share in Q4 2015 stood at 4 per cent.
Sui explained Oppo: “has grown swiftly in China with popular Android models such as the R9. Its next challenge in 2017 is to expand beyond China and continue its momentum in emerging regions like India and Nigeria.” Rival research company Canalys recently announced Oppo was India’s third largest smartphone vendor in terms of Q4 2016 shipments.
Strategy Analytics said Oppo’s domestic rival Vivo maintained fifth place during the quarter with a record 6 per cent market share. Sui said: “Like Oppo, Vivo is very popular in China and it continues to strengthen its portfolio with upgraded smartphone models like the X9 and upcoming V5 Plus with 20MP dual-camera functionality.”
The research company said Q4 2016 marked the first time Huawei achieved a double-digit market share, after accounting for 10 per cent of shipments during the period.
Woody Oh, director at the research company, said the vendor is struggling at home in China against rivals including Oppo, but noted Huawei’s “overseas performance in markets like Western Europe is accelerating due to improved smartphone designs, more sophisticated marketing, and deeper retail distribution.”