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Global Smartphone Sales Grow as Apple, Samsung Lose Share

As more people around the world become smartphone users, a growing number of them are also willing to pay more for better devices, according to new data released today by the analyst firm Gartner Inc.

Gartner’s sales report for the first quarter of 2017 also shows that while Samsung and Apple remain the world’s first- and second-largest smartphone brands, respectively, three Chinese phone makers are gaining ground. Gartner attributes that in part to the access that Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have to expanding smartphone markets in regions close to China.

Combined, Huawei (pictured above}, Oppo, and Vivo now hold 24 percent of the global smartphone market, an increase of 7 percentage points over the same period last year, Gartner said. Samsung’s share now stands at 20.7 percent, down from 23.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016, while Apple holds 13.7 percent of the market, compared to 14.8 percent in Q1 of last year.

‘Fierce’ Competition in China

“The top three Chinese smartphone manufacturers are driving sales with their competitively priced, high quality smartphones equipped with innovative features,” Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said in a statement. “Furthermore, aggressive marketing and sales promotion have further helped these brands to take share from other brands in markets such as India, Indonesia and Thailand.”

While there were healthy pre-order figures for Samsung’s newest Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus flagship phones, which hit the market last month, its overall sales have taken a hit due to “fierce competition in the basic smartphone segment” and a lack of alternative offerings such as the Galaxy Note 7, Gupta said. Released last summer, the Note 7 was recalled shortly afterward because of its fire-prone battery design.

Apple’s sales, too, are under attack in China due to the rise of domestic competitors, Gupta said. It remains to be…


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