Jan 26, 2017 03:50 PM

China Takes Three of Top Five Global Smartphone Spots for 2016

(Beijing) — Chinese smartphone makers closed the gap on their international rivals last year, with homegrown brands landing three of the top five places globally with strong inroads into developing markets.

China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Oppo Electronics Corp. and Vivo Communication Technology Co. Ltd. finished third, fourth and fifth respectively in terms of smartphone production in 2016. They trailed longstanding leaders Samsung and Apple Inc., which finished first and second on the list, according to a report published on Wednesday by consulting firm TrendForce.

Based in south China’s Guangdong province, Vivo and Oppo doubled their smartphone output last year to grab 7.2% and 6% of the global market respectively. Huawei was the world’s biggest producer, with a 9.6% market share.

TrendForce’s figures measure production volume, and do not indicate actual sales performance, as some phones may end up as unsold inventory.

Vivo and Oppo released models in 2016 that were well-received by consumers because of their sleek surface designs and fast-charging capability, said Avril Wu, an analyst at TrendForce.

Vivo and Oppo were both newcomers to the top five, ousting Chinese rival Lenovo Group Ltd. and South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. from their fourth and fifth positions respectively in 2015. Huawei’s No. 3 position remained unchanged from 2015 to last year.

Oppo and Vivo are thriving off booming sales in their home market, the world’s largest for smartphones, posting respective growth of more than 130% and 81% in last year’s third quarter. Most of last year’s increased production came from rising demand within China, Wu said.

The pair also had a strong fourth quarter in India, one of the world’s fastest growing markets. Oppo, which plans to open a 1.5 billion yuan ($218 million) production base in India, saw sales surge by more than a factor of 15 from a year ago, while Vivo has expanded over six times, according to a report from Counterpoint Research.

Contact reporter April Ma (

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