Note: As always, I’m averaging the sales estimates provided by both firms.
According to Gartner and IDC, device makers sold 363.65 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2017, up about 6.35 percent from the 340.55 million smartphones sold in the same quarter a year ago.
Some key findings:
Growth was better than expected. Smartphone sales growth surprised IDC, which expected to see slowing growth.
Customers are spending more per device. According to Gartner, “mobile phone buyers are spending more to get a better phone, resulting in the rise in average selling prices of types of phone.” This is, of course, another sign of strength for the smartphone market.
Chinese smartphone makers are surging. While Samsung and Apple retained the top two positions, the next three vendors—Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo—are China-based, and they are growing sales very quickly. And this is coming at a time when Samsung and Apple are sitting still, or even declining, from a market share perspective.
Samsung struggled. While Samsung should have a nice rebound this quarter because of the blockbuster Galaxy S8 launch, it had no such bump in the first quarter, with slightly declining unit sales. That said, Samsung still retains a strong lead over the competition, with about 22 percent of the market.
Apple’s sales machine flat-lined. Apple’s market share fell slightly in the quarter to 14.3 percent. Which makes sense, since iPhone sales were basically flat year-over-year.
Huawei dominates China. With 9.4 percent of the market, Huawei is threatening to overtake Apple, thanks largely to its dominant position in China.