Apple beats Samsung to be the top smartphone seller

Apple may no longer be top in China but globally it still reigns

Thanks to the iPhone 7 Plus being a holiday hit, Apple hit number one last Q4 of 2016 making it the leading smartphone maker.

The race gets ever competitive

Global smartphone shipments grew 3 percent - a record 1.5 billion smartphones were shipped in 2016, with Apple hitting number one in Q4 2016 with 18 per cent global smartphone market share. But the big surprise here was Oppo who grew 99 per cent annually, and taking the number one spot in China from Apple.

While Apple shipped 78.3 million smartphones in Q4, Samsung wasn't far behind with 77.5 million. Overall though, Samsung shipped the most phones in 2016 - 309.4 million to Apple's 215.4. Third was Huawei with 138.8 overall.

While Huawei is struggling in China against Oppo, its heavy Western-centric marketing seems to have paid off as it did well in markets such as Western Europe. Oppo is also a brand to watch as its growth was fairly impressive, not to mention it is currently the number one selling brand in China. Right after Oppo was Vivo, with 6 per cent market share in Q4 2016.

The China smartphones are so far dominating the market, though Apple and Samsung are still head of the pack...for now. We'll see if Samsung manages to edge further ahead with the Samsung S8 and if Apple can win over China with its iPhone 8.

Compare the two smartphone giants here.

[Source: Strategy Analytics]