Chinese smartphone makers expanded their global market share last year to 40 per cent, shipping 539 million units.

The overall smartphone market grew 10.3 per cent to 1.29 billion last year, according to TrendForce, with Samsung and Apple shipping a total of 547 million units.

Seven of the top ten vendors were Chinese (see chart, click to enlarge). Five of them gained market share, while only Lenovo saw its share fall and ZTE’s remained stable at 3.1 per cent.

Huawei edged out Lenovo for the first time to become the number three vendor globally with an 8.4 per cent share (up from 6.2 per cent in 2014) and the top maker in China. Its smartphone shipments expanded almost 50 per cent to 108 million units.

Xiaomi also moved up the rankings, jumping ahead of both Lenovo and LG to fourth, with a 5.6 per cent share.

TrendForce expects Chinese vendors to take about a 45 per cent share of the global market this year, with their shipments surpassing the combined efforts of Samsung and Apple.

Losing momentum
Samsung had a tough 2015. Besides missing its annual shipment targets for the Galaxy S6 and Note 5, the top global vendor also saw its market share fall to 25 per cent from 28 per cent in 2014.

According to TrendForce, Samsung smartphone shipments last year dropped 1.8 per cent to 320 million units. This was the first annual decline for the South Korean firm.

Apple retained its number two global position, with 227 million iPhones shipped, up 17.7 per cent from 2014. Its market share rose 1.1 points to 17.5 per cent.

Newcomers to the top ten were Oppo (8th) and BKK/Vivo (9th), which pushed Sony and Coolpad off the list.