Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Xiaomi Accelerates to Fourth Position Despite an Overall Dip in Smartphone Market

Xiaomi Accelerates to Fourth Position Despite an Overall Dip in Smartphone Market

According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.3 million units during the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), resulting in a 2.9% decline when compared to the 344.4 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2017. The top 10 global smartphone players account for 76% of the market and surprisingly 7 of them are China-based. Its share of the global market grew as a result.

The company has successfully marketed its mid-range smartphones at affordable prices. The efforts have been realized as the performance of Chinese brands in MEA, Europe and the rest of the Asian markets has been strong. The new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are among the most popular devices while Samsung's A series and J series continued to drive most of the key volume in both developed and emerging markets. Its market share moved from 14.4% in the quarter past year to 15.1% in the first quarter of 2018.

The three Chinese smartphone makers all saw their overseas sales further expand in Q1, especially in markets in Western Europe, India and Southeast Asia.

For Xiaomi, the Q1 2018 brings some good news as the brand due to its strong growth of 87.8 percent year-over-year.

Samsung shipped 78.2 million phones between January and March, capturing 22.6% of the market, compared to a very similar 22.7% share past year.

Meanwhile, iOS share has held steady across the big five markets in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, in contrast to continuing growth in urban China.

Fifth and sixth position are held by two other Chinese firms Oppo and Vivo, but neither have been able to expand beyond their homeland. Xiaomi has managed to take the fourth spot, courtesy its strong growth outside China.

The smartphone market has been bullish for a while now and this reflected by the sales figure for the January-March period of 2018. Samsung recaptured first place this quarter, after losing top spot to Apple in the previous Q4 2017 holiday season. 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. The bad news is that global smartphone shipments are falling. LG's smartphone shipments declined both annually (-23 percent) and sequentially (-18 percent) due to a revised smartphone launch strategy that led to no flagship launch in Q1 2018. While the Motorola brand did well, it was Lenovo smartphones that registered decline during the quarter.

There was a dip in the smartphone shipments from Oppo and Vivo for the second consecutive quarter. In these markets, the Lite versions continue to be the company's bestselling devices, but the P10 and the Mate 10 range are in a much better position compared to predecessors P9 and Mate 9.

iTel's strategy of concentrating on the emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia is paying off as smartphone shipments grew over 200 percent in Q1 2018.

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