However, smartphone shipments rise, hitting 355 million units
Worldwide smartphone shipments were up annually for the second quarter in a row, growing around 6% with 355 million units shipping. Yet while Samsung continued to lead the market, its issues with the Note7 are starting to affect its business.
Samsung shipped just over 76 million units (excluding all Note7’s), down 9% on the same quarter a year ago, stated research firm, Canalys. In second place, Apple’s iPhone shipments also suffered an annual decline, falling 5% to just over 45 million units.
Again, it was the Chinese vendors that grew the market. Huawei, Oppo and Vivo rounded out the top five respectively, with their shipments growing 60% collectively.
The standout performer was Oppo, which had a stellar quarter, taking hold of the Chinese market from under the noses of its rivals, Canalys said. Its smartphone shipments grew around 40% sequentially and 140% year on year. Tough competition in China has affected Huawei’s global position, with it now looking increasingly unlikely that it will reach its annual shipment target of 140 million units.
“Halting sales of the Note7 had an impact on Samsung’s shipments in the third quarter, but even a smooth launch would not have delivered year on year growth. With the recall commencing midway through September, it was too late in the quarter to have a positive effect on the competition,” said Tim Coulling, Canalys senior analyst.
“The Note is a relatively niche product in Samsung’s portfolio, and the lack of competing products with a stylus means it’s too early to identify potential winners. The danger for Samsung is that the Note 7 recall affects sales of other models in its portfolio. In this case, several vendors, including Apple and Huawei, will see higher than expected demand in the fourth quarter. But with Apple raising questions about meeting iPhone 7 demand and Huawei currently shipping below target, the advantage may rest with the latter,” concluded Coulling.