The smartphone industry still has potential for growth this year despite falling to an all-time low in 2016, according to IDC.
IDC reported that global smartphone shipments were 347.4 million in Q1 of 2017, up 4.3 per cent on the same period last year and higher than IDC's expectations.
The market watcher said that growth has been driven prodominently by Chinese OEM vendors Huawei, OPPO and vivo - with end users increasingly turning their backs on premium devices and looking for stylish but cheaper alternatives.
"There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year for the industry as growth dipped to low single digits for the first time.
"However, we believe the industry will show some rebound in 2017, and the strong first quarter results certainly support this argument. In addition to what shipped in Q1, big flagship announcements from Huawei with the P10 devices and Samsung with the Galaxy S8 devices show that innovation is still possible.
"Despite any formal announcements from Apple it is safe to say the industry is highly anticipating what comes from this year's iPhone announcements."
Samsung retained its place as the market leader, despite not seeing any growth, with shipments at 79.2 million.
Apple remained in second place with 51.6 million shipments - but Huawei, OPPO and vivo closed the gap on the front runners with 21.7 per cent, 29.8 per cent and 23.6 per cent growth respectively.
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