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IDC: Apple overtakes Samsung in smartphone market, global shipments down 6.3%

By midian182 · 15 replies
Feb 2, 2018
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  1. According to a new report from IDC, Apple once again overtook Samsung as the top smartphone company during the final quarter of last year. The Korean firm led the way for the first three quarters of 2017, but the release of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X helped push Cupertino into first place. The data also shows that global smartphone shipments fell 6.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

    Apple might be experiencing mixed emotions right now. An earlier report from Canalys states that while the iPhone X was the best-shipping smartphone over the holidays (29 million units), it still fell below expectations. This was followed by reports that Apple would be slashing production of its flagship handset in half due to weaker-than-anticipated sales.

    However, the company just posted record quarterly earnings of $88.3 billion, up 16 percent YoY. Tim Cook said growth included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup, and that the iPhone X has been Apple’s top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November—the company doesn’t give sales breakdowns of its individual handsets.

    According to IDC, 403.5 million smartphones were shipped in the fourth quarter, 6.3 percent fewer than the 430.7 million that were shipped in Q4 2016. Apple’s phones accounted for 77.3 million of these, giving it a 19.2 percent market share, putting it ahead of Samsung, which shipped 74.1 million units and took an 18.4 percent share.

    Despite taking the lead, Apple saw a 1.3 percent fall in shipments compared to a year earlier, but it wasn’t as bad as the 4.4 percent decrease suffered by Samsung. The only company in the top five that didn’t experience a drop was Xiaomi. The Chinese firm shipped almost 97 percent more handsets (28.1 million) in Q4 2017 than in Q4 2016 (14.3 million).

    Vendor Q4 2017 Shipment Volumes Q4 2017 Market Share Q4 2016 Shipment Volumes Q4 2016 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
    Apple 77.3 19.2% 78.3 18.2% -1.3%
    Samsung 74.1 18.4% 77.5 18.0% -4.4%
    Huawei 41.0 10.2% 45.4 10.5% -9.7%
    Xiaomi 28.1 7.0% 14.3 3.3% 96.9%
    Oppo 27.4 6.8% 31.6 7.3% -13.2%
    Others 151.3 38.6% 183.7 42.7% -17.6%
    Total 403.5 100.0% 430.7 100.0% -6.3%

    Along with the other two Chinese giants—Huawei and Oppo—Xiaomi retained its position in the top five last quarter.

    Looking at the figures for the year, it’s Samsung that sits on top, having shipped over 100 million more units than second-place Apple. Xiaomi, meanwhile, replaced Vivo as the fifth-largest smartphone maker. Yearly global shipments are down, though only by 0.1 percent.

    Vendor 2017 Shipment Volumes 2017 Market Share 2016 Shipment Volumes 2016 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
    Samsung 317.3 21.6% 311.4 21.1% 1.9%
    Apple 215.8 14.7% 215.4 14.6% 0.2%
    Huawei 153.1 10.4% 139.3 9.5% 9.9%
    Oppo 111.8 7.6% 99.8 6.8% 12.0%
    Xiaomi 92.4 6.3% 53.0 3.6% 74.5%
    Others 577.7 39.5% 654.5 44.4% -11.7%
    Total 1472.4 100.0% 1473.4 100.0% -0.1%

    "Many high-profile companies offered their widest product portfolio ever in hopes of capturing a greater audience. Meanwhile, brands outside the top 5 struggled to maintain momentum as value brands such as Honor, Vivo, Xiaomi, and OPPO offered incredible competition at the low end, and brands like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei maintained their stronghold on the high end," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, IDC.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Booster Posts: 127   +46

    Not surprised, feels to me like Android devices have stood still over the last 5 years where iOS devices appear to have really improved.
    RevD14 likes this.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,696   +1,186

    I actually don't remember reading so many articles about iOS bugs ever before. Anyway, neither Android nor iOS had any major improvements besides introducing bezeless design which is barely an improvement. You should probably specify what exactly did iOS improve to not sound like a clueless shill.
  4. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Booster Posts: 127   +46

    A clueless shill? Easy mate, I didn’t mean to upset you!

    I just upgraded my iPhone 6S to an 8 plus. I now have wireless charging, stereo speakers, a 2 day battery, a 4k60 dual camera, water resistance, the fastest phone cpu by some way, I know that most apps and accessories will be available to me as an iPhone user.

    I did have a note 8 for a week before the 8 plus but it really didn’t do anything more than my LG G3 that I had before my 6S. It had a better screen but that’s it, the camera was meh and the battery was awful. The OS even feels identical as it did back in 2014. One thing that Android devices lack is 3D Touch, I use the function to force press the screen and turn the cursor into a mouse daily, when writing this comment and I can’t believe android still doesn’t have this!

    It’s all opinion though mate, but from my point of view Android phones are just bigger in higher res screens, the operating systems feel exactly the same to me.
  5. RevD14

    RevD14 TS Booster Posts: 91   +95

    I personally believe Samsung phones are getting boring. I've had an S7 for 2 years and it works fine and I love it but I'm looking to upgrade in a year or so. I have no interest in getting an S8 and so far the S9 looks like it doesn't have enough improvements either. I might get the Pixle 3 or the Hydrogen RED if that lives up to the hype.
  6. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,335   +311

    Also crossing my fingers for the Pixel 3... and perhaps the return of the headphone jack, though that seems like a pipe dream at this point.
    Theinsanegamer and RevD14 like this.
  7. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 533   +291

    It's easy to see why you think Android is standing still - all those listed above had been on Android for many years prior to Apple catching up.

    Fastest for a minute until throttled right mate? Also apps/accessories is again relative as there was no wireless charging accessories for iPhone until this gen. Android has entire class of apps that are not supported by iOS since they have functionality not allowed.

    Perhaps they are close depending on how you use the phones but until sharing is improved in iOS it's unusable for me. It shouldn't take 2-3 steps to share across apps when Android can do it in single step. The fundamental differences in the OS's ensure that Android will always be more functional than iOS with the added complexity that can frustrate some.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  8. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Booster Posts: 127   +46

    So what you’re saying is that Android devices haven’t really had any new features and iPhones have? I’m not trying to argue that iPhones have more functionality than android phones but that they have improved quite a lot by comparison, achieving parity would indicate this. And no wireless charging accessories? That doesn’t make sense, I’m using the same wireless charger that I used for my old G3, there are plenty of wireless charging accessories for an iPhone, it seems you are unaware that the wireless charging in iPhones is the same tech as used in most android devices and therefore. Almost all the same accessories will work.

    Also, yes fastest until throttled. But my device is only 3 months old, it’s not throttled, as far as I’m aware this only affects devices with old batteries. Currently Apple are offering replacement batteries for £29 until the end of the year, this is fantastic, I’m quite happy to pay that to have a new battery officially replaced one year after owning my device, I would do this regardless of throttling! I wonder how much Samsung charge for the same thing? Also, I’m pretty certain that the amount of throttling these devices are suffering still won’t make them perform as slow as their android counterparts.

    I’m not trying to say everyone should buy iOS or which OS is better for you. That is incredibly subjective, for me, I prefer iOS devices at the moment. This hasn’t always been the case and I’m sure it won’t always. I’m just suggesting that’s iPhones have come a long way over the last 5 years whilst android hasn’t. I was genuinely surprised not to find a 3D Touch equivalent on the Note 8 and even more surprised to see the same look and feel of Android OS on the Note 8 as my G3 had. I’m no simpleton either, I am actually a telecoms professional!
  9. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 533   +291

    Not since Cathy Newman's last major interview has someone stated something so incorrectly. My statement (in response to your list of new iPhone features) was correctly stating that those features have been present on Android for some time. When you consider your first response to the article that Android has "stood still for 5 years" it clearly demonstrates some dissonance between the two statements that requires further explanation to not be considered clear bias.

    Your statement was that most apps and accessories will be available as an iPhone user but again, back to point 1 above, the existence of wireless charging accessories not sold by Apple is due to wireless charging being a feature on Android phones for years prior to Apple catching up. Either the point was a moot one or you were using the benefited claim (iPhones have more accessories than Android) and not attributing it in fact to Android.

    That's quite an important distinction. Depending on your charging habits phones about a year old are slowed.

    Thank you for clearly showing your bias.

    And the list of features you gave were largely features present on flagship Android phones for years prior to Apple catching up. If you're comparing the two and crediting Apple and criticizing Android...
    darkzelda and hahahanoobs like this.
  10. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Booster Posts: 127   +46

    You need to get over yourself mate. First of all, it’s is factually provable that the CPUs are faster than their android counterparts by more than they are being throttled by old batteries. Stating this fact does not indicate a bias to anything but the truth. I can actually go and find you some benchmarks and charts if you’ve would like? Or will me doing that make you only accuse me of being “biased” again?

    You seem pretty desperate to disagree with me and paint the picture that Android has improved as fast as iOS yet seemingly fail to point out any improvements that have actually been made. Whilst acknowledging that apple has acquired many features that were previously only in the domain of Android. It’s like you don’t like hearing mildly negative comments about one particular operating system.

    Nothing I have said is factually incorrect. My point stands. iOS has achieved more features over the last few years than Android. Your response seems to be distastefully remarking that Android has had many of the features that iOS has acquired for some tme and then to accuse me of bias. If anyone is strawmanning like Kathy Newman, it’s you.
  11. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 533   +291

    Facts along with critical thinking and cogent writing aren't your strong suit. I'll say good day to you and your bias.
  12. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Booster Posts: 127   +46

    I’m glad you are saying good day to me. What happened here is that I posted a valid opinion about the development of iOS and Android and this opinion triggered you. You then started strawmanning, making points about Apple catching up, battery throttling and a very inaccurate point about there being no wireless charging accessories. None of those points have anything to do with which platform appears to be gaining new features quicker than one other. Ironically your point about catching up realistically shows that you also think that Apple have developed more over the last few years. Unfortunately the irony is wasted on you. You also accuse me of bias for stating the objectively provable FACT that Apple devices have far faster processors inside them than Android devices currently.

    How very troubled you must be. I have nothing but pity for you.

    P.S. FYI https://www.tomsguide.com/us/iphone-8-benchmarks-fastest-phone,review-4676.html

    I hope the facts in that article don’t trigger you.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  13. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,754   +1,031

    Love these "iphone took over" so and so things.
    How many iphone models are there per year? 1,2,3?
    How many models of ANDROID phones are there per year? HUNDREDS.
    A more fair comparison would be how many android phones are sold each
    year, versus how many iphones are sold per year.
  14. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 533   +291

    Take one step back and reread my posts - Android handsets cannot "gain new features" that have been present on the platform for years, such as wireless charging, water resistance (without the loss of the headphone port), stereo speakers, etc. Thus your measurement is flawed if you are comparing the two platforms - it's not valid to praise one and criticize the other implementing the same functions years prior.

    After reading your last point I've come to the following possibilities:
    English is not your first language and there is a barrier here that I am not understanding -or-
    You are inciting reactions (that you incorrectly assume are emotional, evident by your use of certain terms incorrectly such as "triggering") for your own pleasure.

    In either case you are cannot be sincere in your positions unless you are blindly unaware of the state of cell phone hardware as of late 2017 or blindly loyal to your new $1,000 purchase. In either case you should save your pity and spend the effort on educating yourself on subjects you wish to converse in.

    A quick aside on your processor point - fastest processor on synthetic benchmarks is a specious argument on real world experience. For years it was an Android win and now that iOS devices are ahead it's still as bogus as it was before. Storage speed (for opening and installing apps) would be a better metric (and one that Apple devices also tend to win) but again it's not a great comparison for real world use. At the end of the day both platform's flagships perform indistinguishably well with a robust selection of apps and accessories. The fundamental difference in the two platforms is curation versus choice, simplicity versus diversity.

    As far as flagships are concerned they both "just work" though Android devices most often always will have more hardware and software functionality.
  15. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Booster Posts: 127   +46

    I briefly looked some of this up earlier, so far the iPhone X, released 3 months ago has sold 29 million units, the galaxy S7 released 22 months ago has sold 55 million. I’m aware that they aren’t of comparable generations but just numbers I quickly read earlier (the iPhone X figures were stated in this article). These numbers appear to be in decline, with the iPhone 6 and galaxy S4 being the peak of smartphone sales. Also I feel it necessary to point out that I don’t think a device selling more necessarily means it’s better. It seems that Samsung’s numbers are made up from budget phones to its flagships, by contrast the iPhones numbers appear to exclusively be for its only phone range. It’s very difficult to argue that the iPhone isn’t the most popular phone on the planet but I don’t think their growth is the story behind Samsung’s decline, iPhones have always massively outsold galaxy phones. I personally think that more competitive options from other Android manufacturers have eaten into Samsung’s totals, as we can see from the tables above, potentially in the area of budget phone sales.
    You won’t accept anyone saying anything except Android is superior to iOS which it plainly is not. Your knowledge is flawed and your temperament is aggressive. As I mentioned before, I pity you. I find it particularly amusing how you dismiss iPhones recent humiliation of Android in processing power. It’s all benchmarked, tested, the results are plain to see on the web, iOS devices have far superior processors in them than Android devices. I’m only mentioning it again because this solid objectively provable fact seems to be sending the rather pathetic human being that you appear to be into some kind of triggered frenzy. Oh and my phone, the iPhone 8 Plus was actually cheaper than the Note 8 and did not cost $1000. It’s very apparent to me that your knowledge of phones is clearly inferior.

    P.S. if you’re having difficulty grasping the concept that iPhones are ahead on processing power at the moment, then watch this video from Android Authority explaining why that is.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  16. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 533   +291

    I've never written anything close to that. Your reading comprehension is poor.

    My unedited words stand in evidence to the falsehoods you continue to spew.

    My temperament remains as always calm and logical in stark contrast to your continued inanity.

    I've also never said who has a faster processor as that's not in question. The speed benefit is hindered by the OS: what takes multiple steps in iOS can be accomplished in one on android. Raw benchmarks mean little to nothing when there is 15 ways to accomplish something.
    Ultraman1966 likes this.

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