Huawei recorded higher growth in mobile phone and smartphone sales than Samsung in the third quarter of 2015, with the Chinese vendor's position boosted by strong domestic and European sales, Gartner revealed.
In its regular review of quarterly device sales to end users, Gartner said that Huawei cemented its place as the world's third-largest smartphone maker in the third quarter with sales of 27.2 million units, up from 15.9 million units in the same period of 2014. The Chinese vendor sold 27.4 million mobile phones in total during the third quarter of 2015, up from 16.3 million in the 2014 period, placing it in fourth place in Gartner's listing of the world's top 10 mobile phone manufacturers.
Gartner explained that Huawei's figures were boosted by strong sales of smartphones in its domestic market and also in Europe, where brand awareness is growing.
While Huawei took the crown in terms of sales growth, Samsung continued to dominate the sales charts. The South Korean vendor sold 83.5 million smartphones during the third quarter of 2015, compared to 72.9 million units in the same period of 2014. Total mobile phone sales grew to 102 million units in the recent quarter from 93.6 million in 2014.
Apple held steady in second place in terms of smartphone sales. The U.S. vendor sold 46 million units in the third quarter of 2015, up from 38.1 million in the 2014 period. Gartner said the company continues to dominate the premium segment of the smartphone market, and that third-quarter sales were lifted by the global launch of its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in the final week of September.
However, broader growth in smartphone sales in the third quarter was driven by affordable devices rather than premium units, Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said.
Gartner's figures show total smartphone sales grew from 305 million units in the third quarter of 2014 to 352 million in the recent quarter, which Gupta explained was mostly due to growing sales of 'affordable' units in emerging markets.
Smartphone sales in emerging markets grew 18.4 per cent year-on-year to 259.7 million units. In contrast, sales in mature territories grew by 8.2 per cent year-on-year.
"The availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets saw consumers upgrade their 'feature phones' to smartphones more quickly because of the small price gap," Gupta said.
Gartner's figures also show that Android continued to dominate sales figures for operating systems (OS). Combined Android shipments hit 298 million units in the third quarter, giving the OS an 84.7 per cent share of the market. Apple's iOS was second with a 13.1 per cent share, with Windows third on 1.7 per cent.
- see this Gartner release
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