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During the first quarter of 2016, 349 million smartphones were sold worldwide, representing moderate growth of 3.9 percent over the same period in 2015, according to the Gartner, Inc. Demand for low-cost smartphone devices in emerging markets contributed the most to sales growth during the quarter.

Nowadays, the smartphone market is undergoing significant changes. Existing brands are experiencing growth saturation while emerging ones are becoming top global brands.

  • Samsung lost 1 percent of its global market share in the first quarter compared to one year ago despite continuing to extend its lead over Apple's iPhone.
  • Apple experienced its first ever two-digit year-on-year decline of iPhone sales, shrinking its global smartphone market share to 14.8 percent in the first quarter from 17.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Apple does, however, remain the world's most valuable brand according to the latest Forbes' report.
  • Chinese brand Oppo saw strong unit sales growth of 145 percent in the first quarter, suddenly emerging among the top 5 worldwide smartphone vendors. Together with the two other Chinese brands - Huawei and Xiaomi - these new brands represent 17 percent of the global smartphone market at the cost of established brands such Samsung and Lenovo.

Regarding smartphone operating systems, Android dominates the market with 84 percent market share as of the first quarter of 2016. Android regained 5.2 percent share over iOS and Windows, which now account for 14.8 and 0.7 percent of the market, respectively. By the number of available apps, Android again surpassed iOS: 2.127 million applications were available in the Google Play Market as of May 2016. iOS remains the more favorable operating system for developers and vendors of smartphones, however, in terms of profitability.

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