Phone Sales: Not Terrible, But Buyers Waiting for New Devices

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Samsung, Apple, and Huawei are taking the gold, silver, and bronze for smartphone sales in the second quarter of 2016. According to Gartner's latest figures, the three aren't anywhere near a photo finish, though.

Samsung, with an estimated 76.7 million smartphones sold for the quarter, is more the Usain Bolt of the race, as Apple lags behind with an estimated 44.4 million smartphones sold for the quarter.

Phone makers sold 344 million units for the quarter, up 4.3 percent from last year. But Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, saw overall demand slow "as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year." Only five vendors from the top 10 showed growth, Gartner found.

Of the top five phone makers this quarter, Apple and Xiaomi experienced a reduction in market share over the last year. Apple was hit by a drop in sales within Greater China and the Asia/Pacific region, though the company experienced a year-to-year sales growth of 95 percent across Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Samsung, with an estimated 76.7 million smartphones sold, enjoyed a market share of 22.3 percent for the quarter. That's nearly 10 percent higher than second-place Apple, and quite a ways beyond third-place Huawei, at 8.9 percent.

As for smartphone operating systems, Android remained the dominant force in the second quarter of 2016 with an estimated market share of 86.2 percent to iOS's 12.9 percent. Samsung is up a bit from last year's market share of 82.2 percent, whereas Apple fell slightly from 14.6 percent. Windows Phone didn't crack 1 percent, and BlackBerry barely registered on the leaderboards at 0.1 percent.

Recent esitmates from IDC, focused on China, indicate that Huawei had the best second-quarter shipments of any smartphone manufacturer with around 19.1 million devices shipped. Oppo came in a close second at 18 million, followed by Vivo (14.7 million), Xiaomi (10.5 million, a decrease of 38.4 percent compared to the year prior), and Apple (8.6 million).

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