Huawei is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, according to new research from Gartner, with sales up by more than a half in the three months ended December 2015.
With an increase in sales of 53% in the fourth quarter of last year over the same quarter in 2014, Huawei achieved the best performance of all smartphone brands year over year, the research firm said.
Huawei’s increased brand visibility overseas, and its decision to sell almost only smartphones, also gave it a higher average selling price in 2015, Gartner said.
The Chinese firm sold 104,1m smartphones to end users in 2015, giving it a market share of 7,3%, behind only Samsung (22,5%) and Apple (15,9%). Huawei (together with Motorola), with 5,1% of the global market, and Xiaomi, with 4,6%, made up the top five brands by sales. In total, 1,4bn smartphones were sold in 2015 (403m of these in the fourth quarter), an increase of 14,4% over 2014.
Fourth quarter 2015 sales rose by 9,7% year on year, the slowest growth rate since 2008.
“Low-cost smartphones in emerging markets, and strong demand for premium smartphones, continued to be the driving factors,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, in a statement.
“Aggressive pricing from local and Chinese brands in the midrange and entry-level segments of emerging markets led to consumers upgrading more quickly to affordable smartphones.”
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Samsung and Huawei were the only two top-five smartphone vendors to increase their sales to end users. Apple suffered its first decline in sales of smartphones, with iPhone sales down by 4,4%.
Although Samsung was the top smartphone vendor, Gartner analysts said the company faces challenges. “For Samsung to stop falling sales of premium smartphones, it needs to introduce new flagship smartphones that can compete with iPhones and stop the churn to iOS devices,” said Gupta.
For total sales of smartphones in 2015, Samsung maintained the number one position, but its market share declined by 2,2 percentage points. In 2015, Apple sold 225,9m iPhones, to achieve a market share of almost 16%.
Google’s Android operating system continued to grow strongly in the fourth quarter of 2015, and now accounts for 80,7% of the global total. Apple is second at 17,7% (down from 20,4% a year ago), followed by Windows in distant third at 1,1% (down from 2,8%).
Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015, Gartner said. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media