Oppo, Vivo Replace Lenovo, Xiaomi as Top Handset Makers

It is quite clear that the next battleground for smartphone dominance is turning out to be China. In the latest list of top handset manufacturers, two of the companies, Oppo and Vivo have pushed back towards fourth and fifth spots.

The companies they replace, Lenovo and Xiaomi, are also famed Chinese makers who contributed massively towards making China a smartphone haven for smaller companies. Meanwhile, Huawei sits there by itself in third.

According to IDC, Oppo got a 5.5 percent share (18.5 million units) of the market in Q1 2016, up from just 2.2% a year ago. Vivo, on the other hand, earned 4.3 percent of the share, up from just 1.9 percent a year ago. Bottom line is, both Oppo and Vivo (14.3 million units) experienced staggering growths of 153.2 and 123.8 percent growth, respectively.

While Huawei managed to grow its market by 58.4 percent, from 5.2 percent to 8.2 percent, it was the leaders who had to sacrifice the most.

Apple for one saw its Q1 shipments decline from 61.2 million units to 51.2 million units, down 16.3 percent for a market share of just 15.4 percent. Samsung too saw slight decline from 82.4 million to 81.9 million shipments, despite early release of its Galaxy S7/S7 Edge flagships.

In the curious case of Chinese manufacturers, though, IDC makes it quite clear the reasons behind their massive surge: the lucrative budget market with phones below $250.

However, it also points out that while these companies can get periodic surges in the local market, getting international recognition is quite something else and while Huawei has managed to do that quite well, it is unclear whether Oppo and Vivo will take a different trajectory than Lenovo and Xiaomi.