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Entry-Level Smartphones More Prominent on the Global Top-500 Bestseller List

by Juha Winter | Oct 11, 2017

As we’ve discussed earlier on this blog, during most of the year, Apple’s latest iPhone range and Samsung’s Galaxy S series and Galaxy J series dominate the list of globally best-selling smartphones, at least as far as the top-10 list is concerned. Sure enough, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were the world’s best-selling Android smartphones in Q2 by a wide margin, but they didn’t succeed in displacing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus from the top of the list. While many Apple fans were already waiting for the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (and the announced iPhone X due for a later release) to start shipping in September, the almost year-old iPhones managed to defend their position well against Samsung’s new thin-bezeled flagships.

Q1 was also the quarter of the Chinese New Year, however, and many Chinese smartphone brands and models saw their peak sales in the quarter – Oppo’s popular R9s being the prime example. The R9s, having made it to the top-3 in Q1, was still shipping respectable volumes in Q2 and making it to the top-10, though it was no longer the best-selling smartphone from a Chinese brand – that honor went to the Xiaomi Redmi 4A. Oppo’s new R11 and R11 Plus, launched in June, didn’t yet make waves as their launch was late into Q2, and consequently, the shipments were limited.

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A is quite different from most other global bestsellers in that it belongs to the lowest wholesale price tier at below US$99. Also one Samsung J series device and one Oppo A series device belonging to the same US$1-99 price tier were featured in the top-10 in Q2. Interestingly, this entry price trier is the only one that grew noticeably (+4pp) in terms of the number of models in the top-500 list of globally bestselling smartphones. Altogether 13 models from this price tier made it to the top-50 bestsellers, each with more than 1.5 million units in shipments in Q2, while the top models exceeded 5 million units each.

As we’ve said before, for the very high end of the smartphone market and the top two vendors the market remains fairly predictable. But what about other price tiers and somewhat smaller, up-and-coming smartphone vendors? Interested in seeing how different vendors and models occupy the seven different price tiers and what their shipments and wholesale ASP are? Then refer to the report Global Top-500 Smartphone Shipments, ASP, and Price Band by Model: Q2 2017, available to clients of our SMT service.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A

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