The latest Gartner data (below) shows that both market leader Samsung and second-placed Apple lost market share in the first quarter of the year as Chinese brands continued to increase their sales.

Samsung saw its market share fall from 23.3% in Q1 2016 to 20.7% in the same quarter this year. Gartner said that the company was suffering from strong competition in low-cost smartphones in particular …

Although Samsung announced that preorders for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are up 30 percent year over year, the absence of an alternative to Note 7 and the fierce competition in the basic smartphone segment are leading Samsung to continuously lose market share

Oppo saw the largest percentage gain, growing from 4.6% to 8.1%. Other winners were Vivo (4% to 6.8%) and Huawei (8.3% to 9%).

While Chinese brands sell most phones in their home market, they are also starting to do well in other emerging markets, says Gartner.

The top three Chinese smartphone manufacturers are driving sales with their competitively priced, high quality smartphones equipped with innovative features. Furthermore, aggressive marketing and sales promotion have further helped these brands to take share from other brands in markets such as India, Indonesia and Thailand.

Smartphone sales as a whole grew 9% year-on-year.

Samsung is fighting back with a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal on the S8/S8+, a move which will boost sales and share at the expense of profits.

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