Chinese smartphones are catching up to Apple and Samsung
For the past five years, the smartphone market has been dominated by two names: Samsung, and Apple. It's hard to overstate just how popular the Galaxy and iPhone products have been.
Today, those two remain at the top. But there are some very apparent cracks in the foundation. iPhone sales are on the decline, and Apple appears to be banking on an overhauled 2017 model to pick up the slack. Samsung, meanwhile, is just coming off one of the biggest disasters in the history of consumer tech, and is banking on next year's presumed Galaxy S8 to fly where this year's Galaxy Note 7 crash and burned.
And as this chart from Statista shows, a handful of Chinese companies are starting to gain ground. According to recent data from research firm Gartner, Huawei, Oppo, and BBK Communication Equipment (which sells phones through the brands Vivo and OnePlus) all made significant gains this past quarter, continuing a recent trend. Despite having little foothold in the US, Huawei is now within shouting distance of Apple.
As always, there are caveats. For one, while market share is good, it doesn't equal success: Apple still takes the vast majority of the smartphone industry's profits, because it doesn't sell phones for cheap. And with a Trump administration on the horizon, any so-called "trade war" with China would likely kill those brands' chances of gaining any ground in the States.
But as things stand now, the gap is closing.
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