Quick, name the top 5 largest global smartphone manufacturers. If you’re stuck after Samsung and Apple, we don’t blame you: The landscape is changing so rapidly that it really is tough to keep track.
According to a new report by analytics company IDC, the top three smartphone makers in the first quarter of 2016 are still Samsung, Apple and Huawei. China’s Lenovo and Xiaomi, however, have been pushed out of the top five and replaced by Chinese companies Oppo and Vivo.
In all, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.9 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2016, a slight increase from the 334.3 million sold in the same quarter a year ago.
Samsung is still far ahead with 81.9 million units sold, followed by Apple and Huawei with 51.2 and 27.5 million, respectively. Oppo sold 18.5 million units in the quarter, and vivo sold 14.3 million.
What’s more telling is the market share change. Samsung stayed roughly at the same place, losing just 0.6% of the market. Apple lost a sizable 16.3 percent — a fact painfully apparent in the company’s quarterly results this week.
The Chinese companies on the list, however, experienced tremendous growth. Huawei grew by 58.4% year-over-year, while Oppo and Vivo grew a whopping 153.2% and 123.8%, respectively.
Both Oppo and Vivo are known for smartphones that don’t lag too much, in terms of hardware specifications, behind Apple and Samsung flagships, but are sold at half the price or less.
That approach works, especially in China, where according to IDC, the key is to satisfy the right portion of the domestic market — currently the sub-$250 range. This is where Huawei, Oppo and Vivo shine.
Of course, selling smartphones in China is one thing, and getting international recognition is another. “While Huawei is furthest along in terms of international recognition, selling equally impressive volumes outside of China remains a challenge for many of these brands, whether it is Xiaomi, Lenovo, OPPO, or Vivo,” said IDC mobile research manager Anthony Scarsella, in a statement.