Apple shipped 78.3 million iPhones in Q4 2016, surpassing Samsung to take the crown as the world's number one smartphone vendor. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung saw its shipments decline from 81.3 million in Q4 2015 to 77.5 million last quarter, largely due to the termination of the Galaxy Note 7. That said, the South Korean manufacturer shipped 309.4 million smartphones over the course of 2016, outmatching Apple's 215.4 million shipments.
The overall market grew 3% from 1.44 billion in 2015 to 1.49 billion last year. Samsung accounted for 20.8% of the market in 2016, a minor decrease from the 22.2% in 2015. Apple came in second with a market share of 14.5%, with the company's shipments falling by 16.1 million units. Chinese manufacturers once again had a fruitful year, with OPPO more than doubling its shipments. Huawei came in at third place overall with shipments of 138.8 million for the year, up from 107.1 million in 2015, and the brand now has a market share of 9.3%
The Chinese contingent of Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo had a stellar 2016.
OPPO shipped 84.6 million phones last year, up from 39.7 million in 2015, and is now fourth with a 5.7% market share. The company's offline-first distribution model has paid off in China and India, where it has made inroads into tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Vivo has similarly seen its shipments hit 71.9 million from 39 million, with the Chinese vendor rounding out the top five.
The erstwhile stalwarts of the smartphone segment — HTC, LG, and Sony — have been relegated to the "others" category, with all three vendors seeing a downturn in their fortunes in 2016. Although the HTC 10 turned out to be a great device, it couldn't match up to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Meanwhile, LG's efforts to build a modular phone in the LG G5 have backfired, with the phone seeing lukewarm adoption. Then there's the Sony Xperia XZ, which was introduced too late to the market and had an exorbitant price tag.
For 2017, it looks like the segment will be relatively unchanged. Samsung is pulling out all the stops for its Galaxy S8, which is rumored with a bezel-less display, AI assistant, a desktop dock, and much more. The LG G6 is also turning out to be an interesting device, even though it won't have Qualcomm's latest processor.
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