Move over, Apple and Samsung, the world has a new largest phone maker

Move over, Apple and Samsung, the world has a new largest phone maker
Apple has seemingly dethroned Samsung for the title of the world's largest smartphone maker in Q4, selling 77.3 million iPhones, against Samsung's 74.4 million handsets. Granted, Samsung made about $30 of net profit per handset, while Apple makes $200+, but when it comes to topping the market share charts, it's been a fight between these two last year, followed by the rise of Huawei.

For the first time in a while, however, we have a new company that can be called the world's largest phone maker, and it's neither Apple, nor Samsung, but the BBK Group. The Chinese conglomerate crafts multiple handset brands, such as Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus, and their models sold more units combined than Apple or Samsung last quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. 

BBK has been jostling for the second spot last year, but the Q4 numbers propelled it to the top, and we can only imagine what will happen when the Chinese New Year hits this month, with all the resulting boost in sales there. To top it off, its brands are in the top 5 in terms of profits from phone making, too. As you can see from Counterpoints' breakdown, only the Chinese companies are actually registering any significant shipments' growth, both in Q4, and for the whole of last year, which would explain BBK's achievement here.


source: Counterpoint

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52 Comments

1. Diego!

Posts: 854; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Impressive! And Xiaomi is growing fast too! Congratulations!

12. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

IKR, 56% YoY growth is amazing.. They should start IPO ASAP.. Top 3 is almost stagnant, and 3 below them is growing fast..

4. Zylam

Posts: 1801; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

BBK is like the VW of the phone world.

10. Landon

Posts: 1232; Member since: May 07, 2015

Watch the first episode of Dirty Money on Netflix. You might change your tune on VW...

15. RajRicardo

Posts: 483; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

That's a good show.

6. AmashAziz

Posts: 2873; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

How can BBK be considered a phone maker when it consists of 3 separate brands.

8. cmdacos

Posts: 3818; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Because they make phones?

16. AmashAziz

Posts: 2873; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I should have worded my comment better. I know they make phones, genius. What I meant was that how could BBK be considered one, whole phone company when it consists of 3 different ones.

20. prakash_shewani

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 05, 2016

because BBK gets all the profit !

21. AmashAziz

Posts: 2873; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I don’t think profit has anything to do with it.

31. Leo_MC

Posts: 6386; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

So BNP Paribas or ING are also phone makers, because they own shares in companies that make phones and they get all the profits?

24. TheOracle1

Posts: 1910; Member since: May 04, 2015

The same way Nubia is counted with ZTE, Honor with Huawei, Lexus with Toyota, Infiniti with Nissan. You get it now?

25. AmashAziz

Posts: 2873; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Oh, if its like that. Then thanks.

39. mootu

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Actually they are not,Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus are all seperate company's that compete against each other, but they all have the same parent company. Honor/Huawei are the same company, Honor is Huawei's online arm and they do not compete but work together.

52. TheOracle1

Posts: 1910; Member since: May 04, 2015

What's the difference? Look at their phones and they're very similar. As long as they all go into the same kitty then it's one company.

14. Poptart2828

Posts: 308; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

i adopted vivo as my go to brand since 2013. Very glad they are getting the recognition and sales that they truly deserve. As far as oppo, I owned some of their flagship phones till they stopped making them. Their last being the oppo find 7. One plus brand is blah to me when comparing it to vivo flagship phones.

18. TheOracle1

Posts: 1910; Member since: May 04, 2015

I've looked everywhere but can't see where BBK have surpassed Samsung. Your figures don't add up. They passed Apple early last year so that's not surprising. I've been saying it for months that BBK dwarf Huawei in terms of sales and they outsell Apple too. But Kiko, Leo, Piyath etc haven't made a single comment about their beloved brand being beaten by the Chinese. Vivo, Oppo and One Plus aren't particularly cheap either. One very smart marketing move they made was their sponsorship of cricket in India and especially the IPL. Cricket is like a religion in India and 1.3 billion people is no joke. Question: Do Apple sponsor anything and I mean anything? I don't recall their name even being associated with charities.

19. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"But Kiko, Leo, Piyath etc haven't made a single comment about their beloved brand being beaten by the Chinese." Reason being... we don't care about a collection of Chinese OEMs selling lots of low end phones. Same reason why the majority of us didn't care about Huawei or Samsung outselling the iPhone either. ASP is a far better indicator as to what is selling well and at what ends of the market, and Apple's ASP is literally 3x higher than the next leading competitor. "Question: Do Apple sponsor anything and I mean anything? I don't recall their name even being associated with charities." Of course Apple sponsors charities lol. And no, I'm not telling you this because I want them to look good either. Charity work is tax deductible, meaning most large Corps are involved in it in some form or fashion. Besides, why do you ask?

26. Poptart2828

Posts: 308; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Nothing that bbk makes nowadays is low end. They tend to sell mostly mid range spec phones and one flagship per oem. You don't crack the top five worldwide in sales by selling low end,low quality stuff like ulefone,maze,vernee etc.

29. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Low end refers to price, not specifications.

50. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

ASP has zero to do with what is selling well. It only has to do with highest average sell price. Which means if I raise the price of an item, I can get double the money for everyone I sell, because I wont be selling 2. It's not about selling a lot. It's about selling a certain amount at a high cost above everyone else. Example, if the iPhone X was $750, Apple would need to sell nearly twice many to get the same amount of profit when selling at $1000. Wht is selling well is who sells the most phone period. And those phones being sold by Chinese are not cheap. In fact many of them like the Mate 10 is specs as good or better than the iPhone. Even the Galaxy S and Note at similar costs are specs better than an iPhone but a huge margin. It's just Sammy has diluted the Galaxy brand by including medium and high-lowend phones. I think you are confused at what ASP means. If Ferrari sold 1M Enzo at regular price, then they would have a higher ASP than Toyota even if they sold 5M Camry's at the highest trim level of about $32k each. H ing. High ASP doesn't mean you sold a lot of product, just means you sold a lot at a high price. Apple raised the cost of all their phones. The iPhone 8 is just a 6 with a glass back. The 6bwas $220 to make. The phone gets cheaper over time which means the 8 is less then $200 to make n being sold for $800. The X cost 360 to make and it's being sold for $999 to start. That's nearly 3 times it manufacturing cost which mean sell In one is equal to selling 2.5 phones. Thus giving a higher ASP.

27. Poptart2828

Posts: 308; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Bbk is also sponsoring the NBA and the winter Olympics

49. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

No Apple does not publicly sponsor. They do have private program for donating. We know they donate and lobby court judges and Republican candidates.

22. TheOracle1

Posts: 1910; Member since: May 04, 2015

ASP? You mean we can get away with selling this $300 phone for $900 ASP? Lol. As I stated before Vivo, Oppo and One Plus aren't cheap and the leader in India is Xiaomi who give the best value for money of any oem. Of course the word value isn't in the Apple corporate dictionary. "Besides, why do you ask?" It was more of an afterthought really. I get the charity deduction part. But I really don't recall Apple being behind or associated with any good causes, sports, events or anything like that. Sorta like the annual Apple March of Dimes Fundraiser, the Apple Leukemia Research Center? They don't seem to do any Corporate Social Responsibility I'm aware of.

28. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You're using "feelings" to argue against facts, fam. The word "value", by it's very definition, is subjective. I find no value in any of those Chinese phones, because my needs differ from yours on a basic level. Does that mean the phones hold no value to everyone? Of course not, and that's what makes your value claim invalid. I (among hundreds of millions of people) value Apple's approach to security, reliability, and ecosystem more than I do saving a few dollars. You can argue all you'd like... it won't change the reality of this discussion. "They don't seem to do any Corporate Social Responsibility I'm aware of." Product RED© is probably their most notable in the public eye. And as far as I'm aware, they also do humanitarian and environmental work in parts of Central Asia.

38. TheOracle1

Posts: 1910; Member since: May 04, 2015

Here's something for you to think about. Porsche's are cheaper than Ferrari's but match or better Ferrari's in both performance, engineering and reliability. The buyers are generally two different types. Samsung vs Apple if you like. I'll take the Samsung which also has an extensive aftermarket customization community like Porsche. Then you have the Nissan GTR (Xiaomi, Vivo etc) that once owned the lap record at the Nurburgring but was difficult to buy outside of Japan for a while. It introduced 4wheel steering to high performance cars (think innovation which Apple doesn't have). Divas like you would buy the Ferrari the same way you slavishly buy anything Apple produces. Is it the best? No. Is it good value for money? Definitely NOT.

40. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

As I said, your "feels before reals" method of getting your point across isn't helping you. What people choose to buy with their money is ultimately up to them. Some people will go for the Nissan GTR for all the reasons you mentioned. Some will buy the Ferrari because guess what: they have the money to do so. Value highly relies on one's own perspective. And from my perspective, most of those Chinese OEM offerings are worthless. Doesn't mean that others can't enjoy them, just me. Deal with it.

41. TheOracle1

Posts: 1910; Member since: May 04, 2015

Apple could produce a turd and you'd try and polish it up before swallowing.

51. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

The iPhone doesn't do anything special. Everything you need to do can be done on any phone. Just say you like the iPhone because it makes you feel like you are better than anybody who doesn't have one for whatever reason. Your problem is you think ANYTHING not made by Apple is cheap garbage, even though facts show as a single model all phones produced by other Oems, at whatever price are more reliable. And considering that the top apps available on both Android and IOS, there is nothing special about IOS. Why not just say you prefer iOS over anything else with trying to down what others like? It's because you can't because, the only way Apple fans can feel good about paying more and getting less nd to try to make everything else seems to be lesser than Apple products. That is how e anyone has been since the first Mac. I know, because I was their. Now that Macs use X86, it just proves paying $3000 for a Mac vs a Windows PC at 1/3 The price offers zero benefits.

30. p51d007

Posts: 697; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

The problem with BBK, at least with their OnePlus bunch, is outside of the Asia area, they don't have any "support". You have to send it in, wait forever, to get it back, if at all.

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