Global Smartphone Sales Rose in Q3 2015 Thanks to Demand from Emerging Markets

Smartphones for business

Smartphones running Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iPhones made up for 97% of all smartphone sales registered in Q3 2015 according to research firm Gartner in its latest findings. Microsoft’s Windows platform which runs on smartphones from the company itself and several small scale partners, on the other hand, performed dismally taking a dip from the 3% market share it had over a similar period last year to 1.7%.

Combined, smartphones from the three platforms and others like BlackBerry were responsible for a 15.5% growth in smartphone sales when compared to a similar timeline last year. 353 million smartphones made their way to end users with emerging markets accounting for the bulk of smartphone purchases in Q3 2015 as traditional markets experienced reduced activity thanks to saturation. The growth in smartphone sales to emerging markets is mainly attributable to the rise in availability of affordable smartphones in those markets which has prompted users, tempted by the many capabilities of smartphones, to ditch their feature phones in favour of upgrading to low-cost smartphones.

As had been shown by numbers by other research firms, Samsung and Apple are top of the global smartphone market in terms of market share as the two account for 36.8% market share up from 36.4% in Q3 2014. Xiaomi’s smartphone sales, despite increasing from 15.8 million units in Q3 2014 to a little over 17 million units over a similar period this year, were still not enough to cushion the Chinese upstart from the onslaught of compatriots Huawei and Lenovo who are third and fourth respectively after Samsung and Apple.


Microsoft only makes it to the top, coming in at third place, when all mobile phones and not just smartphones, are factored in. This mainly because Nokia-branded feature phones are still quite popular in many parts of the world thanks to their pricing. Microsoft has even gone ahead to release at least two such phones this year (the Nokia 105 and the Nokia 215). These boost the 5.8 million smartphones the company reported that it had sold over the quarter earlier to have the number of mobile phones sold by Microsoft stand at slightly over 30 million units.

Of the top 10 mobile phone companies in the world in Q3 2015 as per sales numbers, 5 are Chinese with Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi, TCL and ZTE putting up a strong showing. Korean device makers LG Electronics and Samsung break the monopoly alongside Apple and India’s Micromax which double its share of the global mobile phone market by shipping over 12 million units.