Gartner: 5 Smartphone Vendors With Blowout Global Sales In Q3

Smartphone Market Grows 15.5 Percent

Smartphone sales soared 15.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015 from the same period last year, according to a new report by market research firm Gartner.

The global growth stemmed from continued demand for affordable smartphones in emerging markets, as well as newly released smartphones targeted for the high-end market.

’Despite the announcement of Windows 10, we expect Windows smartphone market share will continue to be a small portion of the overall smartphone OS market as consumers remain attracted by competing ecosystems,’ said Gartner Research Director Roberta Cozza in a statement. ’Microsoft smartphones will mainly focus on driving value for enterprise users.’

Following are the top five vendors with the biggest smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2015, according to Gartner.

5. Xiaomi

Xiaomi, a Beijing, China-based company with a strong presence in China and emerging markets like India, suffered a market-share setback, with 4.9 percent share of the smartphone market in the third quarter, dropping below the 5.2 percent market share it had in the same quarter last year.

The fifth-place vendor (17.2 million units sold in the third quarter) is slated to release the Redmi Note 2 Pro smartphone as well as a Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 tablet in the coming week, following up on its Redmi Note 4G smartphone, which was launched in August 2014.

While Xiaomi only began selling phones in 2011, its low prices, good specs and solid marketing methods have made the company's Android phones skyrocket in popularity over the past few years.

4. Lenovo

Lenovo was virtually tied with Xiaomi in terms of market share for the third quarter of 2015, with 4.9 percent market share (17.4 million units sold). However, the Chinese based company, which owns Motorola, captured much less market share in the third quarter of 2015 than it did in the same quarter last year (7.0 percent).

Like Xiaomi, Lenovo drove growth in emerging markets with its entry-level and mid-range phones, launching the Vibe S1, Vibe P1 and Vibe P1m smartphones in September. Looking ahead, Lenovo's third-generation Moto X and Moto G launches will continue to drive growth in 2015.

3. Huawei

Huawei was third in smartphone sales (27.3 million units) in the third quarter of 2015, according to Gartner. The Chinese company also grew from 5.2 percent market share in the third quarter of 2014 to 7.7 percent this most recent third quarter.

According to Gartner, Huawei's growth stemmed from smartphone sales in both its home market and global markets such as Europe. The smartphone company's high brand visibility played a significant role in driving Q3 sales, driven by Huawei's recent releases of the Nexus 6P and Huawei Mate S.

2. Apple

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple continued to grow as the vendor with the second highest global smartphone sales (46.1 million units) in the third quarter. Apple took 13.1 percent of the smartphone market share in the third quarter, showing growth from the same quarter last year when it took 12.5 percent market share.

Apple in September launched the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, providing upgrades to its large-screened premium iPhone lineup that included a more powerful processor and 3D touch features.

Meanwhile, the smartphone company's operating system, iOS, continued to see strong sales performance, growing 21 percent in the third quarter over the same period a year ago, according to Gartner.

1. Samsung

Samsung took the top spot with the most global smartphone shipments (83.6 million units) in the third quarter and 23.7 percent share of the smartphone market.

The South Korean company refreshed its flagship smartphone lineup in the third quarter to address slowing demand for its high-end devices and to compete with Apple's large-screened smartphones. In the third quarter, Samsung continued targeting premium handsets with the launch of its new flagship devices, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and its Note 5, in August.

Samsung smartphones run on the Android OS, which gained 1.4 percentage points in the third quarter to take the top spot in the smartphone operating system market.