Samsung retained its crown as the world's top smartphone vendor in the first quarter of 2016, according to IC Insights, but eight of the 12 largest smartphone companies are based in China.
DigiTimes reported that Samsung sold 81.5 million smartphones during the quarter, followed by Apple (52.6 million) and Huawei (135 million), mirroring the top three spots for all of 2015. But much of the rest of the list looks very different: the Chinese brands Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo rounded out the top six for the first quarter, followed by Korea's LG.
Samsung is expected to maintain its grip on the top spot for the rest of the year, IC said, shipping 320 million phones in 2016, marking a 1 percent drop from last year's sales. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is predicted to stay at No. 2, although shipments will see a 3 percent year-over-year falloff, while Huawei will see a 29 percent increase in phone shipments year-over-year.
"IC Insights believes that there will be very little middle ground with regard to smartphone shipment growth rates among the top 12 suppliers this year," the firm said in a press release. "As shown, seven of the top twelve companies are forecast to register 2016 growth rates of 6 percent or less while the other five companies are expected to each log 29 percent or better increases. Further illustrating the maturing of the smartphone market, the top two suppliers, Samsung and Apple, are each forecast to show a slight decline in smartphone shipments this year."
Meanwhile, Sony, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and the Chinese firm Coolpad all saw declining sales in the latest quarter, IC said, and all are expected to drop out of the top 12 vendors for the year.
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