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Chinese Smartphone Brands Gain In Latest IDC Numbers

IDC’s latest quarterly figures has seen Chinese players like Oppo and Huawei gain market share at the expense of smartphone heavy-weight Apple.

IDC say smartphone vendors shipped a total of 347.4 million smartphones worldwide last quarter, an increase 4.3% on the 332.9 million units shipped in the first quarter of last year.

“The first quarter smartphone results further prove that the smartphone industry is not dead and that growth still exists,” said Ryan Reith, the program vice president of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.

“There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year for the industry as growth dipped to low single digits for the first time. However, we believe the industry will show some rebound in 2017, and the strong first quarter results certainly support this argument. In addition to what shipped in 1Q17, big flagship announcements from Huawei with the P10 devices and Samsung with the Galaxy S8 devices show that innovation is still possible. And despite any formal announcements from Apple it is safe to say the industry is highly anticipating what comes from this year’s iPhone announcements.”

The biggest story to be found in the new numbers is the continued (and rapid) growth of Chinese brands, who gobbled up almost 2% of the market share previously dominated by Apple and Samsung.

Anthony Scarsella, a research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, says that “although we have seen an abundance of premium redesigned flagships that just entered the market, moving forward, we still expect most of the growth to come from more affordable models in a variety of markets”

“Despite all the popularity and media hype around premium devices, we continue to witness a shift in many companies’ portfolios geared towards affordable devices with premium-type styling compared to flagship models. Companies have started to implement a single premium design language that ultimately blurs the lines between the high-end and the low-end, allowing the average consumer to jump on the brand without a hefty upfront investment.”

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