Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow 7.2% on year to 1.42 billion in 2016 and another 7% to 1.52 billion units in 2017, according to the latest estimate by Digitimes Research.
Apple will be the sole non-Asia brand among the top-20 smartphone brands in 2017, while all the remaining 19 vendors will come from Asia, including 11 from China. Samsung Electronics will continue to lead as the number one vendor, and Apple will rank second and manage to narrow its annual shipment gap with Samsung to within a range of 80 million units.
China-based Huawei, Oppo and Vivo will take the number three to five positions in 2017, while India-based vendors will account for three seats in the top-20 rankings, with Micromax and Intex taking the 12th and 13th positions, respectively.
None of the top-10 vendors will see its shipment grow over 20% on year in 2017, and only China's Oppo, Vivo and Gionee will enjoy the highest growth of over 15% in the year, Digitimes Research said.
Apple is expected to see its shipments grow 12% in 2017, buoyed by the release of the next generation iPhone devices in the second half of the year.
Affected by the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung's shipments will stay flat or even retreat in the second half of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, and the vendor might see its shipments grow by a mere 2.2% in 2017 as its shipments are unlikely to stabilize until the second quarter of the year.
Huawei and ZTE will strive to ramp up their overseas shipments to reach a double-digit growth in 2017, while LG Electronics and Xiaomi Technology will only grow by single digits, Digitimes Research commended.
With future growth momentum for smartphones coming mainly from replacement demand in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, South America and Africa, Digitimes Research estimates that global smartphone shipments are expected to increase at a moderate rate of 100 million units a year in the next five years, with total annual shipments to reach 1.93 billion units in 2021.
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