Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

SA: Xiaomi now the 4th largest smartphone maker globally

SA: Xiaomi now the 4th largest smartphone maker globally

HMD Global (Nokia), iTEL, Xiaomi, Tecno, OnePlus and Huawei were the brands that grew the fastest in Q1 2018.

According to research by Strategy Analysts, iPhone X is the world's bestselling smartphone in Q1 2018.

India continues to become an important market for global smartphone makers.

The phone has shipped an impressive 16 million units already.

Leading up to its earnings, there were rumors that Apple might abandon the iPhone X because of its high retail price. While Samsung got a boost from the launch of the Galaxy S9, the new flagship hit store shelves late in the quarter. Of Xiaomi's 28.1 million shipments in Q1, close to 57% shipped outside of China. Is the time finally up for innovations in the smartphone market?

Samsung maintained the number spot with 78.2m shipments and a 23.4 per cent market share but suffered a 2.4 per cent decline in units shipped.

Apple has also released healthy Q1 sales figures, but it now stocks nine iPhone models and sells more older handsets than ever before, something which could impact its balance sheet in the future.

Headquartered in Beijing, Xiaomi is the largest smartphone manufacturer in India at the end of March quarter, with a market share of 31.7 percent according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, a Hong-Kong based market research firm. On the other hand, in high-growth markets, such as India and Brazil, vendors are struggling with low margins.

Trailing the iPhone was a model made by China's Xiaomi, the Redmi 5A, with a market share of 5.4%.

OPPO and Vivo were the fifth and sixth largest brands during the quarter, capturing market share of 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively. The aggressive expansion of these brands in markets outside mainland China will be the key to growth as the home market reaches saturation levels in 2018. Motorola did well but the sales for Lenovo smartphones declines in India and rest of APAC.

"Whilst early days for the new flagship Galaxy S9 and S9+ devices, sales are strong, so far, attracting a young female customer, who is influenced by advocacy and exclusive promotions". If the order stands, it will influence ZTE's smartphone business globally - affecting the company's ability to source critical components from the likes of Qualcomm and Google, among other U.S. technology providers.

iTel entered the top 10 smartphone brand list for the first time. To counter Xiaomi's strong growth in the India market, OPPO has also shifted some focus to online channels where it had been exclusively focused on offline channels in the past. Outside the top five, the market share of the "others" went down 18.5 percent from 40.2 percent in 2017 to 33.7 percent in 2018. The iPhone 8 had 12.5% and the iPhone 8 Plus posted an 8.3% share.

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