Tech Trends

Apple, Samsung Flat as Mobile Market Grows Beyond Expectations

Despite gloomier predictions, the mobile phone market grew 4.3 percent worldwide in the first quarter of 2017, with No. 1 Samsung and No. 2 Apple declining slightly in their overall share of the market as Chinese manufacturers surged upward.

According to a new report from market research firm IDC, Samsung saw no year over year growth from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017. It shipped 79.2 million units in each of those two quarters and lost a point of market share — from a 23.8 percent share of the worldwide market in Q1 2016 to 22.8 percent in Q1 2017.

According to IDC: "Substantial discounts on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge helped move last year's flagships as they make way for the new S8 and S8+. Outside of the high end, the product mix continues to shift toward more affordable models. The J-Series and A-Series drove significant volumes in both emerging and developed markets thanks to flagship-like design at more affordable price points. A refreshed A7, A5, and A3 earlier this quarter, along with a recently updated J-Series, and new flagship S8/S8+ should give Samsung a well-balanced portfolio across all regions in the second quarter. An early positive response to the recently launched S8 and S8+ looks promising as it may have finally put Samsung's Note 7 fiasco to bed."

Apple, meanwhile, grew 0.8 percent year over year in the worldwide market, which is essentially flat. Apple shipped 51.6 million units in Q1 2017 versus 51.2 million in Q1 2016. Its market share declined half a point to 14.9 percent.

The remainder of the top 5 is made up of companies with little to no presence in the United States.

Huawei is known in the United States for manufacturing the Nexus 6P, which launched last year, and the Hero 6X, a mid-range phone with high-end camera features that launched at this year's CES. The Chinese maker also launched the P10, a range of higher-end smart phones, in the first quarter of this year. Huawei is currently sitting in third place and saw 21.7 percent year over year growth, shipping 34.2 million units in Q1 2017. Its overall market share increased to 9.8 percent, up from 8.4 percent in Q1 2016.

China's OPPO shipped 25.6 million units, a 29.8 percent increase over Q1 2016. Its market share was 7.4 percent (putting it in fourth place), up from 5.9 percent in Q1 2016. OPPO is popular throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

No. 5 vivo, also from China, shipped 18.1 million units, up 23.6 percent from last year. Its market share was 5.2 percent, up from 4.4 percent the previous year. Vivo is popular in China, Southeast Asia and India.

Shipments from all other vendors combined totaled 138.7 million units, down 1 percent from last year.

Further details can be found on IDC's site.


About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .