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Chinese phone makers Oppo and Vivo pass Xiaomi in global phone sales

Apple and Samsung retain their top two spots, according to new data from IDC.


Being the “it” smartphone sure doesn’t last long.

New data from IDC finds that Xiaomi now trails several of its less well known Chinese rivals when it comes to global market share. Overall, there were 334.9 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2016, IDC said, up very slightly from the 334.3 million units a year ago. That marks the smallest year-over-year growth on record.

Oppo and Vivo, two names unfamiliar to most Americans, are now the No. 4 and No. 5 phone sellers behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei, another big Chinese hardware maker. Huawei is also on the rise, still far short of its goal of supplanting Apple and Samsung, but at least closing the gap on the two leaders.

Oppo and Vivo are mostly known in the Chinese market, though Oppo now gets about 20 percent of its sales from outside its home turf.

The shift in market share is all the more important as growth in the smartphone market stalls. While a rising tide lifted all boats, the choppy waters now could sink some of the vessels sailing in the Android ocean.

“These new vendors would be well-advised not to rest on their laurels though, as this dynamic smartphone landscape has shown to even cult brands like Xiaomi that customer loyalty is difficult to consistently maintain,” IDC’s Melissa Chau said in a statement.

Apple felt its own China pinch, with sales there down roughly 25 percent from a year ago, though it stayed in the No. 2 spot with 15 percent market share. Samsung, which is holding its developer conference in San Francisco this week, held roughly flat from a year ago, accounting for about a quarter of global smartphone sales.


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