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iPhone 7 models world’s best sellers in Q1 2017, dramatically outselling OPPO R9s

While Android aficionados celebrate the OPPO R9s as the best-selling Android smartphone, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus individually outsold OPPO R9s by dramatically huge margins.

What’s one way to tell a story? By omitting certain facts that make that story a lot less compelling that it might be seen as, despite the fact the story being told is indeed true.

Yes, we have the story of OPPO’s R9s being the “world’s largest selling Android smartphone”, which, according to Strategy Analytics, is true. But it leaves out news of a vastly larger success that makes OPPO sales look slim by comparison and sales of other Android handsets even slimmer.

The latest research from Strategy Analytics, naturally on sale to relevant parties at relevant prices, shows that Apple’s iPhone 7 was the world’s best-selling smartphone model in the first quarter of 2017 with 21.5 million units sold in Q1.

Second came Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, with 17.4 million units.

Unable to break into the double digit millions (as yet) was third-placed OPPO, with its R9s ringing in the bronze medal with only 8.9 million sales. While it has started gaining pace in Australia, and is very popular in China, with growing popularity in India, Strategy Analytics soberly states that OPPO is “largely unknown in the Western world".

Besides being on sale for a short while before the original Dick Smith physical stores imploded, I’ve only ever seen the OPPO on sale in Woolworths, where a Woolies sales rep tried his game last year at signing me up to a Samsung S7 and an Android phone that looked like an iPhone clone. It turned out to be an OPPO model.

Now, it certainly is true that this makes the OPPO R9s “the world’s largest selling Android smartphone”, but when your competition more than doubles this with its flagship model, and almost doubles it with its second flagship plus-size model, the true picture emerges of who’s truly who in the smartphone popularity zoo.  

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Global smartphone shipments reached a robust 353.3 million units in Q1 2017. The top-five most popular models together accounted for 1 in 6 of all smartphones shipped worldwide during the quarter.”

Juha Winter, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added: “We estimate Apple iPhone 7 shipped 21.5 million units and captured 6% marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017.

“The iPhone 7 is by far the world’s most popular smartphone model, due to a compelling blend of user-friendly design, extensive supporting apps, and widespread retail availability for the device.

“Apple iPhone 7 Plus, with its bigger screen and higher pricing, shipped 17.4 million units for second place and 5% marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017. Apple today accounts for two of the world’s top five smartphone models.”

Mawston added: “OPPO R9s shipped 8.9 million units for third place and 3% marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017. OPPO is largely unknown in the Western world, but its brand is wildly popular in China and growing rapidly across India. The R9s is OPPO’s flagship 4G device with key features such as dual-SIM connectivity and fingerprint security.”

Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, added: “Samsung was still gearing up for the launch of its new Galaxy S8 portfolio, but managed to get two models in the top five during Q1 2017. The Galaxy J3 captured 2% global smartphone marketshare and fourth place, while Galaxy J5 took 1% global share to become the world’s fifth most popular model. Samsung’s J3 and J5 are midrange devices that sell very well across Europe and Asia and they helped to offset Samsung’s troubles with the Note 7 battery fiasco in the quarter.”

Here’s Strategy Analytics’ Exhibit 1 – Global Smartphone Shipments & Marketshare by Model in Q1 2017, with the caveat that the numbers are rounded. Please turn phone sideways to see the entire chart.

Strategy Analytics Q1 17

 Pacman Oppo

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.