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Huawei smartphone growth continues; Microsoft declines

By Heather Wright, Thu 19 Nov 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Samsung continues to dominate worldwide smartphone and mobile phone sales, but Huawei is the one to watch, with the Chinese vendor recording the highest growth in smartphone and mobile phone sales.

Anshul Gupta, Gartner research director, says Huawei is continuing its strong momentum, driven by smartphone sales not only in its home market, but in global markets – particularly Europe – where sales have been driven by Huawei’s increasing brand presence.

The company is in third spot for smartphone sales taking 7.7% market share – up from 5.2% for the same period a year ago. Lenovo, which had had 7.0% market share a year ago, dropped back to 4.9% in Q3 2015, with Xiaomi also dropping, down from 5.2% to 4.9%.

Huawei's moves come as worldwide sales of smartphones climbed 15.5% year on year, to 353 million units, with the growth driven largely by emerging markets.

Samsung continued to hold top spot for both smartphones and mobiles, with Apple taking second in both categories.

The gap between the two vendors reduced in the smartphone market with Samsung’s share dropping from 23.9% to 23.7%, while Apple climbed from 12.5% to 13.1%.

Gartner says Samsung refreshed its flagship devices in Q3, just four months after its previous refresh to address slowing demand for its high-end devices and further compete with Apple’s large-screen iPhones.

“Apple continued its dominance in the premium segment of the smarphone market with its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models for most of the third quarter of 2015,” Gartner says.

“The global launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus during the last week of September 2015, along with the simulatenous luanch in China, further added to its overall sales during the quarter.”

When it comes to smartphone operating systems, Apple’s iOS continued to see strong performance, growing 21%, above market average.

Android gained 1.4 percentage points in share year over year thanks to strong smartphone sales from Samsung and Huawei globally.

Windows smartphone market share dropped from 3% to 1.7% year over year.

Roberta Cozza, Gartner research director, says despite the announcement of Windows 10, Gartner expects Windows smartphone market share will continue to be a small portion of the overall smartphone OS market as consumers remain attracted by competing ecosystems.

“Microsoft smartphones will mainly focus on driving value for enterprise users,” Cozza says.

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled nearly 478 million units for Q3, a 3.7% increase from the same period in 2014.

Gartner says continued growth in emerging markets helped bolster sales of local brands. As a result Micromax Informatics cemented its place among the top 10 global mobile phone vendors worldwide, while Chinese brands include ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, TCL Communication Technology, Oppo and BBK became increasingly aggressive in the emerging markets.

Samsung held top spot with 21.4% market share, up from 20.3% a year earlier. Apple was also up, from 8.3% to 9.6%.

Microsoft was third with 6.3% share – a big drop from the 9.4% it held just a year ago – and Huawei took fourth spot with 5.7%, up from 3.5% a year ago.

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