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12 May 2017, 12:46 | Ricardo Garza
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China's rising brand, Oppo R9s was in third place with almost nine-million sold, followed by Samsung's Galaxy J3 with a bit over six-million.
As the world smartphone market has become saturated and innovation has slowed, vendors have increasingly looked to other means to promote sales and maintain profits.
The iPhone 7 sold 21.5 million units (about 6.1% of the total) and the 7 Plus sold 17.4 million units (4.9%) of the 353.3 million devices sold last quarter. "The top-five most popular models together accounted for 1 in 6 of all smartphones shipped worldwide during the quarter", said Neil Mawston, Executive Director Strategy Analytics, in a statement on Wednesday.
While OPPO is largely unknown in the Western world, it's brand is quite popular in China and rising rapidly across India, which explains the results. Its handsets thus held the first and second positions with Oppo's R9s coming in at third while Samsung's mid-range Galaxy J3 and Galaxy J5 (2016) handsets took fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturers have increased their combined market share from 27 percent in Q1 2016 to 50 percent in Q1 2017.
Strategy Analytics said the devices sell well in Asia and Europe. "The push towards digital currency, which promotes a potent new use case for smartphones, is also expected to accelerate sales".
Oppo, which was founded in 2001, is a subsidiary of privately held BBK Electronics, which also controls smartphone brands Vivo and OnePlus. This would increase Apples' loyalty and make it stand in the competition with Samsung and many Chinese brands.
Apple has made a decision to further expand its reach in Indian smartphone market and hence moved to reduce the price of its iPhone 5s at an unimaginative price.
Strategy Analytics estimates will come as a big relief for Apple investors, especially after the iPhone maker reported a 1% drop in iPhone sales year over year.
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The fall in oil prices was, however, given some support by a report indicating that there was a decline in output in Saudi Arabia. OPEC meets on May 25 and the group's ministers have been talking up the chances of more production cuts.