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Are Chinese vendors saving the global smartphone market?

28 Oct 2016

The global smart phone market has enjoyed a second straight quarter of growth, with 355 million units shipped representing 6% growth.

According to the latest figures from analust firm Canalys, while Samsung continues to lead the market, its issue with the Note 7 are starting to affect its business.

Samsung shipped just over 76 million units (excluding all Note 7s), down 9% on the same quarter a year ago.

In second place, Apple’s iPhone shipments also suffered an annual decline, falling 5% to just over 45 million units.

The decline of the two smart phone giants means market growth can be attributed to Chinese vendors, with Huawei, Oppo and Vivo rounding the top five, with their shipments growing 60% collectively.

According to Canalys, the stand out performer was Oppo, which the anlyst firm says had a ‘stellar’ quarter, “taking old of the Chinese market from under the noses of its rivals”.

Tough competition in China has affected Huawei’s global position, Canalys says, with it now looking increasingly unlikely that it will reach its annual shipment target of 140 million units.

“Halting sales of the Note 7 had an impact on Samsung’s shipments in Q3, but even a smooth launch would not have delivered year-on-year growth,” says Tim Coulling, Canalys senior analyst.

“With the recall commencing midway through September, it was too late in the quarter to have a positive effect on the competition,” he says.

“The Note is a relatively niche product in Samsung’s portfolio, and the lack of competing products with a stylus means it’s too early to identify potential winners. The danger for Samsung is that the Note 7 recall affects sales of other models in its portfolio,” Coulling explains.

“In this case, several vendors, including Apple and Huawei, will see higher than expected demand in Q4. But with Apple raising questions about meeting iPhone 7 demand and Huawei currently shipping below target, the advantage may rest with the latter,” he says.

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