TrendForce’s latest smartphone market research finds flat growth in the global production volume between the first and second quarter of 2017. Similar to the prior three-month period, smartphone sales in the second quarter were lackluster and affected by the anticipation of the 10th anniversary iPhone release in the next half of the year. In total, the global smartphone production volume reached 324 million units in the second quarter. Samsung, Apple and Huawei retained first, second and third place, respectively, in the worldwide production volume ranking for the period. Xiaomi managed to surpass LG to take sixth place in the ranking.
Samsung to remain first place this third quarter with the help of new Galaxy Note devices as sales of new iPhone models will take off later in the fourth quarter
For the second quarter, Samsung’s smartphone production volume totaled around 80 million units, which is about the same volume level for the first quarter. In terms of the global ranking, Samsung retained first place as its device sales have been supported by the flagship series Galaxy S8 and the mid-/low-range series Galaxy J. Despite seasonal effect of the year’s first half, Galaxy J continued to do well in the market and was the main sales driver for Samsung.
For the third quarter, TrendForce expects sales of Samsung’s high-end smartphones will be affected by the competition from the new iPhone models. Nevertheless, the upcoming refresh of the Galaxy Note series will help keep Samsung’s quarterly production volume near 80 million units, maintaining the brand’s first-place position with a global market share of 22.7%.
Apple’s iPhone production volume for this second quarter totaled around 43 million units, down 17% compared with the previous three-month period. Apple remained second place in the global ranking, though its market share fell to 13.3%. Much of the iPhone demand has shifted to the second half of the year, when Apple will be releasing three new device models: the 4.7- and the 5.5-inch models with TFT LCD displays plus the premium 5.8-inch model with AMOLED display.
The 10th anniversary iPhone devices are expected to arrive on the market at the end of this third quarter. Considering the substantial hardware upgrades made to the first AMOLED iPhone, this specific model might have a delayed release, or its availability might be limited to some regional markets during the initial shipment period. TrendForce also estimates that the third-quarter iPhone production volume will register a growth rate of no more than 5% compared with the prior quarter’s result. The fourth quarter will see higher growth in the iPhone production volume as the 10th anniversary models become more widely available.
Huawei kept its third-place ranking while OPPO and Vivo enjoyed strong sales in Southeast Asia
With regard to Chinese brands, Huawei’s sales performance during the second quarter was weaker than anticipated with total production volume falling by 8% compared with the first quarter. Nonetheless, Huawei’s market share in terms of the global production volume stayed at 10.3%, allowing the brand to remain at the third spot of the worldwide ranking. Huawei is expected to do better in the third quarter on account of the year-end busy season. Its annual smartphone production volume for 2017 is estimated around 150 million units.
OPPO and Vivo also remained fourth and fifth, respectively, in the global ranking for the second quarter. Besides being firmly rooted in China’s second- and third-tier cities, both brands have also expanded aggressively in overseas markets since last year. They in particular have recorded impressive results in Southeast Asia. Together, OPPO and Vivo’s total production volume increased by 4% in the second quarter compared with their first-quarter figure. Their total volume is projected to go up by more than 10% this third quarter.
Xiaomi expanded its worldwide smartphone market share to 6% this second quarter and advanced one spot to sixth place in the ranking. In term of market performance, Xiaomi’s smartphone production volume returned to the same level as in 2015. The success is attributed to the brand’s efforts to raise specifications and develop new software apps that work with the upgraded hardware. Xiaomi also benefitted from the financial misfortunes of its domestic rival LeEco. Due to its ongoing operational problems and publicity crisis, a part of LeEco’s user base has gone over to Xiaomi.
Set against the first quarter, Xiaomi’s smartphone production volume for the second quarter grew by more than 50% to almost 20 million units. Going into the third quarter, sales of Xiaomi device will be driven by the seasonal demand and the Indian market. TrendForce estimates that Xiaomi’s third-quarter production volume will increase by more than 10% versus the second quarter.
Total production volume of all Chinese brands will register an above global average growth of nearly 10% this third quarter
TrendForce’s smartphone market outlook for this third quarter is overall positive. In addition to the release of the three new iPhone models, major Android phone vendors will roll out flagships featuring displays with the 18:9 aspect ratio. The upcoming devices with high screen-to-body ratios will raise the level of competition among brands and stimulate consumer demand.
TrendForce projects that the global smartphone production volume will grow by 5% from 324 million units in the second quarter to nearly 340 million units in the third quarter. On the other hand, the total third-quarter production volume of all Chinese brands is estimated go up by almost 10% compared with the prior three-month period to reach 180 million units.