Tech Trends

Samsung, Apple Increase Lead in Smartphones

The top 5 smartphone makers expanded their lead in the latest three-month period, with all but Apple seeing double-digit growth, according to a new report from market research firm Gartner.

No. 1 Samsung shipped 85.6 million phones in the third quarter, up from 71.7 million in the same period the previous year. It also grew its share of the global smartphone market three full points to 22.3 percent.

No. 2 Apple, which saw only 5.7 percent growth in the same period, nevertheless increased its overall market share by 0.3 points (to 11.9 percent). The iPhone maker shipped 45.4 million units in Q3 2017, up from 43 million in Q3 2016. Gartner noted that, with the release of two new iPhones, the overall smartphone market in the fourth quarter is expected to be much stronger.

"The arrival of Apple's new flagship iPhones at the end of the third quarter of 2017 has delayed smartphone purchases into the fourth quarter of 2017," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "Following compelling offers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday season will likely boost sales of smartphones before the end of the year. We estimate the fourth quarter's smartphone sales will boost total sales for the full year. We expect smartphone sales will reach 1.57 billion units in 2017."

Chinese manufacturers Huawei (9.5 percent market share on shipments of 36.5 million units), OPPO (7.7 percent market share on 29.4 million units) and Xiaomi (7 percent market share on 26.9 million units) made up the remainder of the top 5 in global sales.

The market share for all other smartphone makers combined declined a whopping 8.2 points to 41.6 percent, which shipments dropping from 185.5 million units in Q3 2016 to 159.6 million units in Q3 2017.

Meanwhile, China remained the No. 1 smartphone market in the world by far, despite a substantial decline in unit shipments. In Q3 2016, China accounted for 120.3 million units shipped. That declined to 107.1 million in the same period this year.

North America saw modest growth in the quarter, from 42.7 million units in Q3 2016 to 47.3 million in Q3 2017. North America remained the No. 3 market globally, behind "emerging Asia Pacific," which grew from 70.9 million units in Q3 2016 to 81.5 million in Q3 2017.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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