Xiaomi makes big gains as global smartphone shipments jump 2.7% in Q3

Samsung continues to dominate the worldwide smartphone market.

Smartphone vendors shipped slightly more than 373 million units worldwide in the third quarter, according to IDC, marking a 2.7% increase year over year and a 7.4% jump from the second quarter. And Xiaomi continued to gain remarkable traction in the market even as growth in its home market of China slowed to a crawl.

Samsung maintained its lead as the top-selling vendor of smartphones during the quarter, seeing shipments rise 9.5% to 83.3 million units to claim a market share of 22.3%. Apple held on to its status as the second-largest vendor, seeing a 2.6% increase in shipments to claim 12.5% of the market.

Chinese manufacturers continued to build on their momentum, though, as they continue to expand out of their home market: Huawei saw shipments increase 2.6% year over year to claim 10.5% of the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter, and Oppo claimed a market share of 8.2% after enjoying 19% year over year growth.

Xiaomi made the biggest strides of any major vendor, more than doubling its annual shipments to take 7.4% of the worldwide smartphone market.

The smartphone landscape could change significantly during the upcoming holiday season, though, as carriers look to leverage a slew of high-profile, high-end handsets during the shopping frenzy. Apple has released both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; the Galaxy Note 8 is getting rave reviews, and Essential recently slashed the price of its debut smartphone in an effort to goose sales. Meanwhile, a glut of less-expensive Android phones continues to flood the market.

“With an overabundance of high-end flagships launching in the coming weeks, the fourth quarter will be extremely competitive as vendors will fight it out over holiday shoppers,“ said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in a press release. "Although these premium flagships will capture all the hype while driving up the average selling price in the quarter, we still believe a clear majority of shipments will come from more affordable models across many markets. IDC previously forecast the fourth quarter to grow at less than 1% year over year as initial supply constrains surrounding the iPhone and higher-than-normal prices on many flagships could lead to consumers playing the waiting game until prices come down after the holidays or opt for a more affordable device."