IDC Smartphone Report: Challenger Brands The Big Movers

The smartphone business is having a Mark Twain moment, with rumours of its death, or at least failing health, greatly exaggerated according to data reeleased by IDC.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker found phone companies shipped 347.4 million smartphones globally in the first quarter of 2017. That represents market growth of 4.3% in 1Q17, which was slightly higher than their 3.6% growth forecast.

Samsung sold the most devices with Apple following them. But the big movers are Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, who rounded out the top five. Those three challengers saw growth rates of between 20% and 30% while the market leaders barely changed their sales volume on the same period last year. The growth came from their market strength in China.

Samsung's sales were buoyed, said IDC, by discounting on the S7 range as it made way for the new S8. And although Apple announced a refresh of some iPhone products earlier this year, their big sales push typically comes later in the year when they do their annual dog-and-pony show for a new iPhone.

If you're responsible for buying your company's phones, or are in the market for a new smartphone, those challenger brands represent great value as they push the envelope for features and price in their hunger for marketshare.

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