Global smartphone shipments saw higher growth than expected during Q1, and it was essentially led by manufacturers like Huawei and OPPO.

According to the latest data released by the International Data Corporation, worldwide smartphone shipments for Q1 of 2017 saw 4.3 percent growth, beating IDC’s previous forecast of 3.6 percent. With devices like the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus and the Galaxy S8 duo, that number is expected to be even higher for Q2.

Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo all saw a double-digit increase, with OPPO seeing almost 30 percent.

Now, the list of top five vendors isn’t surprising: Samsung leads the smartphone market with almost 80 million devices shipped during Q1, and Apple is a distant second with 51 million devices. Just like previous few quarters, these two electronics giants are followed by Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo. However, what is rather surprising is that the growth seems to have been led by Chinese OEMs. As you can see below, Samsung saw a fat zero in terms of year-over-year change in shipment volume, and Apple finished with a mere 0.8 percent year-over-year change. However, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo all saw a double-digit increase, with OPPO seeing almost 30 percent.


Though the overall shipment volume numbers are far greater for Samsung and Apple, IDC’s latest data indicate that the market may be seeing a shift. Unlike these two companies, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo do not have a big presence in the US; instead, their focus remains within countries like China and India – which happen to the two largest smartphone markets in the world. Their affordable yet premium smartphones as well as their approach to online sales have been highly effective in those countries, and should they enter the US market with proper preparation, you can imagine what the impact might be.

Samsung will undoubtedly unveil the Galaxy Note 8 this fall; Apple apparently has a new set of iPhones coming out later this year; however, with their struggle to penetrate high potential markets like China and India, it’s entirely possible that the other three Chinese OEMs will continue to lead smartphone shipment growth for a while to come.

Read comments