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Slight decline in smartphone market for Q2 2017 to be short-lived

04 Aug 2017

New research from IDC has revealed the smartphone market declined slightly in the second quarter of 2017 – but this is expected to soon change.

Smartphone OEMs shipped a total of 341.6 million smartphones around the world in Q2 this year. Coming off a higher than expected first quarter, shipments declined 0.8 percent from Q1 2017 and 1.3 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Despite the industry contracting shortly, it is worth noting that the leading vendors all saw positive growth with Samsung and Apple both holding relatively constant from the same time in 2016, while the remaining three vendors rounding out the top five – Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi – all grew shares.

The only change in the top five ranking wise was Xiaomi just managing to overtake vivo.

Program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, Ryan Reith believes the biggest change in the second quarter is the size of the contraction among the 'Others' outside of the top 5 OEMs.

"It's no secret that the smartphone market is a very challenging segment for companies to maintain or grow share, especially as already low average selling prices declined by another 4.3 percent in 2016,” says Reith.

“The smaller, more localised vendors will continue to struggle, especially as the leading volume drivers build out their portfolio into new markets and price segments."

Despite the decline in the market of Q2, IDC has forecast the market to bounce back into positive growth for second half of the year with both quarters experiencing positive year-on-year growth, making 2017 a rebound year.

According to IDC, Samsung is riding momentum from the success of its Galaxy S8 products with the presumed August announcement of the Note 8 imminent.

Meanwhile, anticipation continues to build for the next round of iPhones that the industry expects Apple to announce in September.

IDC affirms that outside of these two leaders, the companies to watch will continue to be the next three to five OEMs and how they navigate to position themselves in growing markets.

"Despite some key launches in the second quarter from some well-known players, all eyes will be on the ultra-high-end flagships set to arrive this fall," says Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

"With devices like the iPhone 8, Pixel 2, Note 8, and V30 in the pipeline, the competition will be fierce come September. We expect all the key players to promote their latest and greatest flagships with an assortment of deals, bundles, and trade-in offers across a variety of channels in most key markets."

Here are some of the highlights of the top five vendors in the market:

  • Samsung – Remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market grabbing an impressive 23.3 percent share and 1.4 percent growth. The new S8 and S8+ played an important role in the quarter as the flagship brought a new design and screen aspect ratio (18:9) to the table, which could transform the industry in the months ahead.
  • Apple – Shipped 41.0 million iPhones in the second quarter representing mild 1.5 percent year-over-year growth from the 40.4 million units shipped last year – all eyes will be on the iPhone 8 come September.
  • Huawei – Captured the third position once again thanks to strong sales in greater China as well as in many developed European markets. The Chinese giant witnessed 19.6 percent year-over-year growth and improved its market share by two full percentage points compared to the second quarter of last year.
  • OPPO – Remained in the fourth position with worldwide shipments of 27.8 million units and moving its overall share up 1.5 percentage points to 8.1 percent. The Chinese brand continues to expand its international business, leading with many markets in Southeast Asia.
  • Xiaomi – After aggressive expansion into the Indian market, the company moved back into the top 5 worldwide with year-over-year growth of 58.9 percent, edging slightly ahead of vivo.

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