Global sales of smartphones reached 344 million units in Q2 of 2016, a 4.3% increase over the same period in 2015, according to Gartner Inc. However, the overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5% with only 5 vendors from the top 10 showing growth.

Among them were four Chinese manufacturers: Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment.

The demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 because, according to Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, consumers are waiting for new hardware launches in the second half. Also, the decline in sales of "feature phones" (down 14%) bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016 (see Table 1 below).

 
Gartner 2016Q2 SmartphoneSales Table 1: Worldwide smartphone sales to end users by vendor in 2Q16 (thousands of units). Source: Gartner Inc.  

All mature markets, except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9%. In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9%.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10% more market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.

 

Apple had 3 cConsecutive quarters of slowing demand as sales declined by 7.7%

 

Apple continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7% in the second quarter of 2016. Apple sales declined in North America (its biggest market) as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions, where it saw sales decline by 26%. Apple had its best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe regions in the second quarter of 2016, where iPhone sales actually grew by a whopping 95% year-on-year.

Among the top 5 smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129%. This is due to strong sales of its R9 handset in China as well as overseas.

"Features such as an anti-shake camera optimised for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditized smartphone market," said Gupta.

 
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