The global sales of smartphones to the end-users increased to 432 million units during the fourth quarter of 2016, a rise of seven percent over the same period of the previous year, according to Gartner Inc.
Q4 saw Apple edge out Samsung to become the no.1 global smartphone vendor. The California-based company sold out 77,038.9 units to claim a market share of 17.9 percent, an increase of 2 percent over Q4 of 2015.
Samsung, on the other hand, sold 76,782.6 smartphone units to the end users to account for 17.8 percent of all smartphone sales during Q4, a fall of 3 percent over Q4 in the previous year.
“This is the second consecutive quarter in which Samsung has delivered falling quarterly smartphone sales,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Samsung’s smartphone sales declined 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and its share dropped by 2.9 percentage points year on year.”
Smartphone sales to end users worldwide totaled 1.5 billion units, an increase of 5 percent over 2015.
Gupta said the withdrawal of Galaxy Note 7 a major factor in Samsung’s downfall. The company had announced to permanently discontinue the device in October after multiple reports of the devices exploding and catching fire.
“Samsung’s smartphone sales started to drop in the third quarter of 2016, and the decision to discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 slowed down sales of its smartphone portfolio in the fourth quarter,” Gupta said. “The withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 left a gap in its large-screen phone range.”
Among other vendors, Huawei accounted for 9.5 percent of the smartphones sold to the end users during Q4 of 2016, up from 8 percent in the previous year.
“Huawei introduced Mate 9 during the quarter — within a month of Samsung discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7 — which was good timing to position it as an alternative,” Gupta added.
Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment claimed a market share of 6.2 percent and 5.6 percent in the Q4 respectively.
The smartphone sales to end users totaled nearly 1.5 billion units, an increase of 5 percent over 2015.
Samsung remained the top vendor in overall worldwide sales but faced closest-ever competition from Apple. The company claimed a market share of 20.5 percent in 2016, a decrease of 2 percent over the previous year.
Apple accounted for 14.4 percent of the overall smartphone sold to the end users during 2016, a decline of 1.5 percent from 2015. The company’s sales during the year were driven by flagship phones — the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Huawei’s market share grew to 8.9 percent, an increase of 1.6 percent over 2015.