Samsung lost top rank to Apple in Q4 smartphone market share

Smartphone Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2016Samsung has lost its top rank to US-based technology rival Apple in smartphone market share in Q4 2016 due to its Note 7 battery fiasco.

Apple shipped 78.3 million smartphones and captured 18 percent market share in Q4 2016, rising 5 percent annually from 74.8 million units in Q4 2015. Samsung shipped 77.5 million smartphones in Q4 2016, dipping 5 percent annually from 81.3 million units in Q4 2015.

The Korean technology giant Samsung lost momentum in the quarter as a result of its Note 7 battery fiasco. Samsung captured 18 percent share for the quarter and 21 percent share for the full year, its lowest level since 2011, said Strategy Analytics.

ALSO READ: Strategy Analytics website for report on smartphone shipments n Q4 2016

“Samsung’s problems with the Note7 contributed to its market share falling below 20 percent in Q4, its lowest point since Q2 2011,” said Ben Stanton, Canalys Analyst. “Apple saw shipments of the iPhone 7 reaching 78 million, taking it into first place, a position it has not held since Q4 2014 and the launch of the iPhone 6.”

China faces Trump in US

Trump’s tough talk may crush Chinese technology vendors’ US plans, says Mo Jia, Canalys Research Analyst.

“Success in the US continues to evade these Chinese players. President Trump’s tough talk on trade with China, including the threat of harsh tariffs, paints a bleak picture for Chinese vendors looking to the US for growth. It raises questions for the future of Lenovo and ZTE, which have seen their share of the US market grow to around 10 percent,” said Mo Jia.

Smartphone growth

Global smartphone shipments grew 3 percent annually to 1.5 billion units in 2016. Apple iPhone recaptured first position with 18 percent smartphone market share in Q4 2016, while OPPO grew 99 percent annually, said Strategy Analytics.

Smartphone shipments grew 9 percent annually from 403 million units in Q4 2015 to 438.7 million in Q4 2016.

“This quarter was the smartphone industry’s fastest growth rate for over a year. Smartphone growth is recovering slightly due to stronger demand in major developing markets like China and Africa,” said Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics.

Samsung will be relying on the Galaxy S8 model in a few weeks’ time to reignite growth and return to the top spot in quarterly smartphone shipments. On an annualized basis, Samsung maintained first position with 309 million units shipped in 2016.

Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent smartphone market share in Q4 2016. Huawei is struggling at home in China against rivals like OPPO.

OPPO held on to fourth position with 99 percent growth annually to capture 7 percent smartphone market share in Q4 2016, almost doubling from 4 percent a year ago. OPPO has grown in China with popular Android models such as the R9.

OPPO’s next challenge is to expand beyond China and continue its momentum in emerging regions like India and Nigeria.

Vivo maintained fifth place with 6 percent market share in Q4 2016. Like OPPO, Vivo is very popular in China and it continues to strengthen its portfolio with upgraded smartphone models like the X9 and upcoming V5 Plus with 20MP dual-camera functionality.

Baburajan K
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