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The number of smartphones sold around the globe grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter 2017, spurred by strong demand in China and other Asia-Pacific markets, a new report from Gartner shows.

According to Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales hit 366.2 million in the quarter, up from 343.4 million the year prior. That growth spurt was driven by robust sales in both greater China and emerging Asia-Pacific markets, which pulled in 101.5 million and 78.2 million smartphones sales, respectively. Greater China's sales figure was actually down by nearly 13 million units from the year prior, but the region still led the globe with 28 percent market share. The sales figure for emerging Asia-Pacific markets, on the other hand, jumped by nearly 19 million units from the year before thanks to growing penetration in India, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries.

"Although demand for utility smartphones remains strong, there is growing demand in emerging markets for 4G smartphones, with more storage, better processors, and more advanced cameras,” Gartner Research Director Anshul Gupta explained. “This is translating into higher demand for mid-priced [$150 to $200] smartphones.”

Sales in Western Europe also returned to growth on the back of strong device sales from Samsung and Huawei, pushing the needle from 31.5 million units sold last year to 35.8 million units in the most recent quarter. North American sales figures also crept up, rising from 38.1 million units in the second quarter 2016 to 40.4 million units this year. North America and Western Europe accounted for 11 percent and 9.8 percent of the market share, respectively.

By OS and manufacturer

Across the globe, the Android operating system remained dominant, and actually extended its lead over its major rival, Apple's iOS. In the second quarter, Android snagged 87.7 percent market share to Apple's 12.1 percent.

Samsung remained the top smartphone manufacturer, with 22.5 percent market share and 7.5 percent growth to 82.5 million units sold. Apple trailed with 44.3 million units sold and 12.1 percent market share – both figures were down slightly year over year.

Up and coming Chinese brands Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo continued to make gains, with the latter two achieving growth of 70.8 percent and 44.1 percent, respectively. All told, Huawei posted nearly 36 million units sold, Oppo had 26.1 million, and Vivo had 24.3 million.

But despite the strong postings from competitors, Gupta said Samsung and Apple are expected to grow their sales this year.

"Despite growing competition from Chinese brands such as Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo, we expect Samsung to register growth in 2017," Gupta commented.

"Apple's sales in emerging markets are expected to grow as older-generation iPhones continue to attract buyers,” he added. “The new iOS 11, which will include augmented reality, machine learning, an improved Siri,and a new display design, will likely fuel strong iPhone sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, and help Apple increase its sales in 2017.”

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