Mobile phone buyers are spending more to get better devices, resulting in a rise in average selling price, according to research company Gartner.
The shift in buyer preference is benefiting Chinese manufacturers including Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, which all look to build “desirable features at affordable prices”. These companies had a combined 24 per cent market share in Q1 2017, up 7 points year-on-year and coming at the expense of Samsung, Apple and “others”, which lost share.
Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, noted “aggressive marketing and sales promotion” helped the Chinese players gain ground in markets including India, Indonesia and Thailand.
In total, sales of smartphones to end users increased 9.1 per cent to 380 million units in the first three months of 2017.
Market leader Samsung’s smartphone market share decreased 3.1 per cent year-on-year due to the “absence of an alternative to Note 7” and fierce competition in “basic smartphones”, Gupta said.
The vendor may bounce back in the second quarter due to sales of its latest flagship Galaxy S8 range, which it launched at the end of Q1.
Apple’s Q1 market share also slipped on the back of iPhone sales which were flat year-on-year. The vendor is “increasingly facing fierce competition from Chinese brands Oppo and Vivo among others, and its performance in China is under attack”, Gupta explained.
Fourth-placed Oppo is closing the gap on Huawei in third place. Oppo almost doubled its sales year-on-year, and retained the top spot in China. Oppo’s success lay in it having “a large network of brick-and-mortar retailers,” Gupta said.
“Huawei has now steadily held the third spot in the worldwide ranking of smartphone vendors. However, pressure is mounting as its counterparts in China are catching up,” he observed.