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Smartphone sales are up, but not because of the phones you think

Samsung has reclaimed the top spot, but it's Huawei, Oppo and Vivo that have really spurred growth.

Samsung, maker of the Galaxy S8, started off 2017 strong.
Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung is back on top.

Even before the Galaxy S8 went on sale, the Korean electronics giant took back its place as the No. 1 smartphone maker, ahead of Apple, according to IDC's quarterly report on smartphone market share. Samsung dominated the charts at 22.8 percent.

That was despite the disastrous setback of its worldwide Galaxy Note 7 recall, which saw the company pull roughly 3 million premium phones off the market. Cheaper Galaxy S7 phones, and affordable J- and A-series handsets sold well, which helped stop the gap.

Yet, what's even more interesting is that global smartphone shipments are up across the board (4.3 percent in the first quarter), and it wasn't because of Samsung.

Growth came from Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, IDC found, three Chinese phonemakers that take the third, fourth, and fifth spots as top smartphone vendors, behind Samsung and Apple. Oppo and Vivo are lesser known outside of Asia and together account for 12.6 percent global market share. Huawei, whose high-end, dual-camera P10 is CNET's favorite Huawei phone ever made, had almost 10 percent of global sales after the first quarter of the year.

Apple, meanwhile, took 14.9 percent of the pie.