Huawei becomes most profitable Android brand: Report

Chinese smartphone supplier Huawei has outstripped the trouble-ridden Samsung and gained the most profit among Android phone brands for Q3 2016.

Huawei Technologies has displaced Samsung Electronics to become the second most profitable smartphone supplier in the world for the quarter ended September 30, followed by two other Chinese brands Vivo and Oppo, a latest report by research firm Strategy Analytics shows.

The Shenzhen-based Huawei generated some $200 million of smartphone operating profit -- earnings before interest and tax -- worldwide during the quarter, equivalent to 2.4 percent share of the global smartphone operating profits, trailed by Vivo and Oppo's 2.2 percent shares, according to the report.

Apple remains the most profitable mobile phone brand, gaining $8.5 billion, or 91 percent share in smartphone profits in the third quarter out of the total $9.4 billion operating profit, Strategy Analytics estimated. Total operating profits in the quarter slid from $13.5 billion in the same period in 2015 due to the global economic downturn.

"Huawei, Vivo and OPPO have not only improved their smartphone product lineups this year, they have also enhanced their operational abilities and kept a tight lid on expanding distribution costs," Linda Sui from Strategy Analytics wrote in the report.

The report attributed Huawei's rise to "an efficient supply chain, sleek products, and effective marketing", which also recognized that Vivo and OPPO have "delivered relatively healthy profitability due to disciplined pricing and soaring shipments across Asia".

Sui added that Apple's ability to maximize pricing and minimize production cost remains impressive and the three Chinese smartphone brands Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo are still a long way from Apple's regnant position.

The report didn't elaborate on Samsung's slip from the list, but their recent battery crisis is very likely a decisive factor.

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