The third quarter of 2016 was a challenging time for Samsung's smartphone division. The company was forced to recall its flagship Note 7 phablet after numerous report of battery fires, tarnishing the company's reputation and casting doubts over the device's future.
A year later, those doubts appear to have vanished.
Samsung captured 22.3 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017, according to technology research firm Gartner. In total, the South Korean electronics maker sold 85.6 million smartphones to end-users across the globe, a 19.3 percent year-over-year increase and nearly twice the number of iPhones that its nearest competitor Apple managed to sell.
"Renewed pushes of the newly designed Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 smartphones have brought back growing demand for Samsung smartphones, which helped it compete against Chinese manufacturers and deliver a solid performance in the quarter," said Gartner research director Anshul Gupta, in a statement. "The last time Samsung achieved a double-digit growth was in the fourth quarter of 2015."
Second-place Apple sold 45.1 million iPhones in Q3, a 5.7 percent increase on an annual basis, and snagged 11.9 percent of the overall smartphone market. The Cupertino, Calif. device maker experienced a surge in demand in China, India and many emerging markets, due, in part, to the continued availability of legacy models like the iPhone 5S with affordable street prices hovering around the $240 mark.
Chinese smartphone maker Huawei took third place with sales of 36.5 million units and a 9.5 percent share of the market. Oppo, also from China, sold 29.4 million smartphones and took home 7.7 percent of the market.
Buoyed by stratospheric growth rates, Xiaomi rounded out the top five, with nearly 26.9 million units sold and seven percent of the market. The Chinese company's smartphone sales jumped a whopping 80 percent compared to Q3 2016. Much of that growth came from India and other markets, rather than its home turf where it faces stiff competition from the companies in third and fourth place (Huawei and Oppo) along with Vivo, Gartner observed.
In terms of unit sales, China is far and away the leading smartphone market, with 107 million in smartphone sales during Q3 and 27.9 percent of the global market. The emerging Asia-Pacific region accounted for 81.5 million in sales and 21.3 percent of the market, followed by North America with 47.5 million in sales and 12.4 percent of the market.
All told, 383.4 million smartphones made it into buyers' hands in Q3, Gartner estimated.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.