Smartphone shipments increased by 6 per cent annually in Q3 2016, representing the industry’s fastest growth in a year, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.
Latest research showed 375 million units shipped in Q3 2016, up from 354.2 million in Q3 2015, with growth outlook for the second half of the year improving due to high-profile product launches from Apple, Huawei and others.
Samsung maintained first position with 20 per cent global smartphone market share, despite seeing a 10 per cent shipment fall annually.
Strategy Analytics said the company shipped 75.3 million devices worldwide, falling from 83.8 million, representing its slowest growth for two years.
In the quarter, it was forced to issue a recall, and then discontinue its Galaxy Note 7 device, and Neil Mawston, executive director at the analyst house, said the situation “was handled badly, which dented its brand image and left a large product gap in its smartphone line-up”.
“Samsung will now be looking to its next flagship launch, such as the rumoured Galaxy S8 model, to recover momentum in 2017,” he added.
Closest rival Apple, which launched its latest flagships, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, saw shipments also drop by 5 per cent, while market share decreased from 14 to 12 per cent.
“Apple has been given a slight boost by Samsung’s Note 7 missteps, but it continues to face iPhone fatigue among many consumers in major regions such as China and Europe,” added Mawston.
Growth, meanwhile, largely came from Chinese handset players, with Oppo shipping 21.6 million smartphones, growing annually by 140 per cent, and maintaining fourth place with 6 per cent market share.
The company is snapping at the heels of Huawei, which held 9 per cent market share in Q3 2016, up 1 per cent from last year. Its smartphone growth rate however halved, to 26 per cent annually, with competition coming from Oppo, Vivo, and fast-growing LeEco.
“Oppo is very popular in China and is internationalising rapidly across India, Asia and emerging market. Oppo is a rising star,” said Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics.
Vivo is fifth place in the rankings, growing from 3 per cent to 5 per cent market share.