OPPO continues to make excellent devices

It has focused on cameraphones. It also has close ties to fashion and sports celebrities – it is cool.

Top 5 Smartphone Companies, Calendar Year 2018
(shipments in millions of units)

Company 2018 Shipment Volumes 2018 Market Share 2017 Shipment Volumes 2017 Market Share Year-Over-Year Change
1. Samsung 292.3 20.8% 317.7 21.70% -8.0%
2. Apple 208.8 14.9% 215.8 14.70% -3.2%
3. Huawei 206 14.7% 154.2 10.50% 33.6%
4. Xiaomi 122.6 8.7% 92.7 6.30% 32.2%
5. OPPO 113.1 8.1% 111.7 7.60% 1.3%
Others 462 32.9% 573.4 39.10% -19.4%
Total 1,404.9 100.0% 1,465.5 100.0% -4.1%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, January 30, 2019

What is more interesting is the next five places

  • Vivo (OPPO sibling owned by BBK) is next with 104 million sales up 9%. If you add that to OPPO, it is bigger than Apple.
  • LG had 45 million sales, down 19%.
  • Motorola is rising with 39 million sales up 3%
  • TCL/Alcatel had 17 million sales, down 18%
  • Nokia is in 10th place with 15 million sales up 175% (from a standing start).

The huge losers are all ‘others’ like Sony and HTC with 254 million sales, down 24%. There are about 100 other makers that service local markets.

GadgetGuy’s take

I was recently talking to a smartphone industry veteran who said that each brand has its time in the sun and then in the shade. It’s important not to get a sunburn while in the sun. Without mentioning brands, he intimated that its time that other brands came into prominence.



  • The smartphone market is saturated
  • Apple relies on operating system ‘switchers’ (from Android), but that market is no more
  • Carriers no longer subsidise the handset cost from calls/data plans, so the real price is exposed. Apple tried to raise prices and look at the result.
  • Sales at the premium end are less than 10% of volume. Foldables and 5G will push these prices even higher
  • Growing 5G awareness, in the premium end, will defer sales for a year or two
  • All the volume action is in the sub $500 range, and flagship action has gone down to the sub $1000 range where you can get everything you want

Ryan Reith, vice president of IDC Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said,

“Globally, the smartphone market is a mess right now. Outside of a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam, we did not see much positive activity in 2018.”