China’s smartphone brands Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are on the rise, stealing market share from Samsung and Apple, accounting for one quarter of the global market.
The trio of Chinese brands have boosted their combined market share by 7 percentage points, and helped the global smartphone market grow 9.1% year-on-year in Q1, according to stats from Gartner.
Samsung is the global market leader with a 20.7% share despite a 3.1% decline in sales in Q1, ahead of Apple which remains flat at 13.7% market share, down from 14.8% the previous year.
Huawei continued to grow its share to 9%, however, rival Oppo is now hot on the company’s heels after doubling its market share to 8.4%. Fifth place brand Vivo also increased its share to 6.8% up from 4% in Q1 2016.
The growth reflects the aggressive marketing tactics from the Chinese brands as well as changing attitudes from consumers, who are spending more money on better quality phones, according to Gartner research director Anshul Gupta.
"The top three Chinese smartphone manufacturers are driving sales with their competitively priced, high-quality smartphones equipped with innovative features."
"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."
"Sales of iPhones were flat, which led to a drop in market share year-over-year. Similar to Samsung, Apple is increasingly facing fierce competition from Chinese brands Oppo and Vivo, among others, and its performance in China is under attack," said Gupta.
The report also revealed the battle for operating systems is a two-horse race between Android and iOS. China's smartphone brands are helping increase Android's dominance, which grew 2% year-on-year to 86.1% share, while iOS remained flat.
Last year Huawei overtook Samsung as the most profitable Android brand following the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
Globally 380 million smartphones were sold in the first quarter of 2017, up from just under 350 million in Q1 2016.