Lenovo, which ranked fourth among the world's smartphone makers in 2015, fell out of the top five in the first quarter, according to the latest data from market research firm IDC.
Separately, IDC also reported that Lenovo again ranked fourth in worldwide tablet shipments in the fourth quarter.
With regard to smartphones, IDC reported that upheaval in the giant Chinese market pushed two Chinese companies – Lenovo and Xiaomi – out of the top five, based on smartphone shipments, in the first quarter.
They were replaced by a pair of “lesser-known Chinese brands,” OPPO and vivo, which mostly sell cellphones for less than $250, IDC said.
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IDC didn’t report shipment or market share data for Lenovo. It only provides such results for the top five smartphone companies.
Lenovo, which is No. 1 in PCs, has a headquarters in Morrisville and employs about 3,000 workers in the Triangle.
The company ranked third in worldwide smartphone shipments after acquiring the Motorola business from Google in the fall of 2014. But sales of Motorola phones have slumped since that deal was completed, and the Chinese market that formed the foundation of Lenovo’s smartphone business has quickly decelerated.
IDC reported that smartphone shipments in China jumped 62.5 percent in 2013 but grew by just 2.5 percent last year.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, IDC ranked Lenovo No. 4 even though its worldwide shipments fell 18.1 percent.
Last month Lenovo disclosed that Rick Osterloh, the head of the Motorola Mobility business, “decided to leave.”
Osterloh was replaced by Aymar de Lencquesaing, who was named co-president of the mobile business group as well as chairman and president of Motorola. De Lencquesaing previously was president of Lenovo North America.
IDC reported that worldwide smartphone shipments rose ever-so-slightly in the first quarter, from 334.3 million phones to 334.9 million phone. That’s the smallest year-over-year growth ever for the smartphone market.
Lenovo’s tablet shipments fell 13.8 percent in the first quarter, but that was better than the overall tablet market’s 14.7 decline, IDC reported. As a result, Lenovo’s market share was 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent a year ago.