China gives seven players out of ten in world’s top ten smartphone vendors. Samsung and Apple, both still retaining the top 1st and 2nd position, respectively, is seen to have a shrinking market space.
BBK Electronics, the daddy of brands like OPPO and Vivo, which are the two fastest growing smartphone suppliers, with each growing almost 90%.
Samsung and Apple have been enjoying a monopoly in the smartphone market from 2014 through 2016.
Both the companies have shipped 555 million smartphones and held a combined 39% share of the total smartphone market in 2015 which have however dropped four percentage points to 35%.
Samsung’s total smartphone unit sales were down by 4% in 2016 to 311 million units, a weak show in a total smartphone market that grew by 4%.
Apple’s pre-iPhone 7 smartphones are seeing a slump in orders (the iPhone 7 was first released on September 7, 2016), and Apple’s total smartphone shipments dropped by 7% in 2016, a worse scenario when the global growth is accounted to be 4%.
Overall, there was very little “middle ground” with regard to smartphone shipment growth rates among the top 14 suppliers in 2016.
As shown, seven of the top 14 companies registered declines in 2016 shipments while five companies logged 25% or better increases.
In fact, four Chinese smartphone suppliers’ shipments surged by greater than 30% (Vivo, OPPO, Gionee, and Huawei) in 2016. LeEco, which only began shipping its smartphone handsets in 2015, became Coolpad’s largest shareholder in October 2016. As a result, IC Insights combined the two companies’ smartphone sales for 2015 and 2016.
In 2014, Japan-based Sony was ranked 10th in smartphone shipments with sales of 40.0 million handsets. However, in 2016, Sony’s shipments of smartphones had dropped precipitously to only 15.1 million (with sales expected to increase only slightly in 2017 to about 16 million).
In contrast to the weakening fortunes of Sony, 2015-2016 smartphone sales from most of the top China-based suppliers surged. In fact, Huawei, the third largest smartphone producer in 2016, has set its sights on surpassing Apple within the next five years.
Combined, the 10 top-14 smartphone suppliers that are based in China shipped 587 million smartphones in 2016, a 15% increase from the 511 million smartphones these 10 companies shipped in 2015.
As a result, the top 10 Chinese smartphone suppliers together held a 39% share of the worldwide smartphone market in 2016, up three points from the 36% share these companies held in 2015 and seven points better than the 32% combined share these companies held in 2014.