As smartphone shipments sputter and stall, an upstart is shooting forward from the back of the pack.
China's Oppo saw shipments of its phones more than double -- the precise gain: 137 percent -- in the second quarter of 2016, compared with the same period a year earlier.
That was good enough to put Oppo into fourth place, according to new reports from market researchers IDC and Strategy Analytics. The company has been aggressively expanding beyond its home base in China to India and other emerging markets.
Samsung held onto the top spot during the second quarter. Its modest rise in shipments kept it well ahead of second-place Apple and third-place Huawei.
Overall, phone makers shipped a total of about 340 million smartphones during the quarter, up no more than about 1 percent from the year-earlier period.
That paltry gain has a lot to do with phone fatigue in established markets, where most people who want phones already have them and aren't seeing enough pizzazz in new models to spring for them. At the same time, carriers have been putting the kibosh on subsidized plans, confronting consumers with the hard reality of having to pay full price for new phones.
On the plus side, the worldwide smartphone market may have reached a bottom during the first half of the year, according to Strategy Analytics.
"The growth outlook for the second half of this year is brighter due to multiple big new product launches from Samsung, Apple and others," said Linda Sui, director of Strategy Analytics, in a statement.
Though Apple's iPhone shipments slumped during quarter, the company did win people over with its moderately priced new iPhone SE, IDC said.
Samsung remained top dog in large part because of the popularity of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones. It shipped 77 million phones during the quarter, nearly twice as many as Apple and well over three times more than Oppo.
Price will continue to be a critical factor in reigniting sales among wary consumers.
"Outside of Samsung's Galaxy S7 flagship, a majority of vendors, including Apple, have found success with more affordable models compared to their flagship handsets," said Anthony Scarsella, IDC's research manager for mobile phones, in a statement.