Counterpoint Research’s report for the first quarter of 2018 is in. And it shows an interesting detail.
Xiaomi bucked the declining smartphone-shipment trend the past two quarters to become the fourth largest brand in the world, at the expense of fellow Chinese manufacturer OPPO. It shipped 27 million units from January to March this year, 101 percent up from the same period in 2017.
The company’s notable performance was driven by strong sales in China (+51%) and India (+134%), where it grew 51 percent and 134 percent, respectively.
Xiaomi is one of four in the top 10 smartphone brands that grew in the first quarter last year — a list that includes Apple, Huawei and its sub-brand Honor, and iTel. The latter is part of Transsion Holdings, which also owns Infinix and Tecno.
Apple’s 3-percent growth was attributed mainly to the iPhone X, the company’s bestseller during the quarter. This is consistent with yesterday’s report revealing that the 10th-anniversary handset was doing pretty well. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “Customers chose the iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter.”
Huawei’s 14-percent increase was because of its continuous efforts to expand in markets outside its native China. The move resulted in strong growth in Europe (up 46 percent), the Middle East and Africa (up 38 percent), and India (up 146 percent).
iTel’s strategy of concentrating on the emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia paid off as smartphone shipments ballooned to 213 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
You can see last quarter’s worldwide ranking of smartphone brands below.
Counterpoint’s ranking — at least for the top five: Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO — is the same as the ones released by other market research firms IDC [International Data Corporation] and Strategy Analytics. You can check them out below.
Are we going to see a different ranking next quarter? Which brands will surprise us? Will OPPO and Vivo overtake Xiaomi by then? Will Samsung retain its crown, or will Apple take it? We can’t wait to find out.
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