Smartphone penetration fell to 76 percent of all the mobile phones shipped in the quarter.
Apple slid to the second spot this time with a market share of 15.1 percent and shipped 52.2 million smartphones globally.
As global smartphone market declined for the second successive quarter in the first quarter of 2018, Samsung remained the leader, shipping 78 million devices and capturing 21.7 per cent market share, Counterpoint Research said on Wednesday.
Samsung's shipment grew 5% QoQ with the launch of its latest flagship, Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. As a result, smartphones sold by the two brands internationally were mainly from their low-end lineups, which impacts overall profitability. The Motorola is doing well in LATAM and U.S. smartphone markets.
China's market has slowed down and that has adversely affected the performance of Chinese OEMs in the home market.
The three Chinese smartphone makers all saw their overseas sales further expand in Q1, especially in markets in Western Europe, India and Southeast Asia.
Analyst Sui observed that the iPhone X is "proving relatively popular in some markets like China and the U.S., while there remains scope for additional expansion in emerging regions such as India and Africa".More news: USA trade delegation to China divided on tariffs, policy
According to figures from IHS Markit, Huawei remains the world's third largest smartphone maker, commanding 11 per cent of the market and shifting 39.3 million units - an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year. In fact, Huawei has reported an impressive 46% growth in Europe and 146% growth in India.
For Xiaomi, the Q1 2018 brings some good news as the brand due to its strong growth of 87.8 percent year-over-year. In the case of Samsung, while early reports indicated that its latest premium smartphones performed well within the first month, they could've done better had most people not opted for either the more pocket-friendly Galaxy A (that shouldn't apply to this one, though) and Galaxy J smartphones or elected to keep their already pricey and capable 2017 smartphones, like the Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note 8. The company reported strong sales in India and China with a growth of 51% and 134% respectively.
At fourth place, Xiaomi's strong performance has no doubt been owing to its strong growth outside of China with 1Q18 the first quarter that less than half of its shipments were domestic, a transition that very few Chinese companies have reached. Still, it moved enough to hold onto 23.4 percent of the global market.
Shipments for the entire industry dropped between 2% and 3% last quarter, depending on whose numbers you use.
The market as a whole increased by 2 per cent to 345.5 million, with Samsung and Apple retaining the top two positions.
ZTE's growth continues to struggle as the USA component ban came as an added disadvantage which has led to declining market share.
Transsion Holdings the group company for iTel, Tecno and Infinix brands, together accounted for over 10 million smartphones shipped during the quarter.