According to the latest research from Counterpoint's Market Monitor service, Samsung led the smartphone market by volume with a market share of 21 percent in the calendar year (CY) 2017. However, it lost the top spot to Apple in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The report said that Samsung shipments declined 11 percent due to decline in India, China, and Western Europe, however, it the absolute leader in the Latin American market while Apple shipments declined 1 percent annually in Q4 2017, falling to 77.3 million units. However, the company became the number one smartphone brand during the quarter and it remained number two in CY 2017, capturing 14 percent market share.
Meanwhile, global smartphone shipments grew 2 percent annually in CY 2017 but declined 5 percent in Q4 2017. Top 10 players now capture 77 percent of the market thereby leaving just below a quarter of segment for over 600+ brands to compete.
Commenting on the findings, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said, "For the first time in Q4 2017, shipments of seven out of the top ten brands declined YoY signaling a tough quarter for most of the OEMs. Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo were the only brands among top ten which grew YoY--mostly due to strong performances outside of China. Apple shipped 77.3 million smartphones into the market during the final quarter of 2017, which is down 1 percent annually.
"The quarter was a week shorter than last year and the company was able to increase ASP's by over $100 to $796 with the launch of the X, 8, and 8 Plus---a trade-off the company is content to make. The challenge for Apple going forward will be its ability to continue to grow its base of 1.3 billion devices," Fieldhack added.
The report further said that Huawei shipments grew 10 percent during CY 2017 due to strong shipments in the first half of 2017 in China and growth in markets beyond the mainland. OPPO and Vivo were the fourth and fifth largest brands during the year, capturing market share of 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The aggressive expansion of these brands in markets outside mainland China will be the key to growth as the home market reaches saturation levels in 2018 and Xiaomi emerged as the fastest growing brand (+56 percent), driven by strong sales in both China and India. Even as it posts strong performances in key markets, the brand is fast expanding and has now reached over 60 countries as compared to its presence in 40 countries just a quarter ago.
LG shipped 13.9 million smartphones which represented 4 percent market share, Lenovo (including Motorola) captured the 8th spot with a market share of 3 percent.