Counterpoint's report on the global sales of smartphones in both the last quarter and the whole of 2017 are in. And, while they continue to make good reading for Apple and Samsung, they both need to look over their shoulders at the rapid rise of Chinese manufacturers.

Xiaomi, for example, sold 83 per cent more phone units in Q4 2017 than it did in the equivalent period the year before. Oppo is also going very strong, having sold 32 million phones in the same quarter and 121.1 million across the whole year - securing fourth spot in the overall market share chart.

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Then, of course, there is Huawei, which sold 153.1 million phones in 2017, a rise of 10 per cent year-on-year.

Samsung still sits at the top of the yearly phone sales list, with 318.1 devices shipped in 2017, but Apple had a better fourth quarter than its Korean counterpart, selling 77.3 million iPhones in just three months.

The biggest news to be gleaned from the year's results is that neither Samsung nor Apple are actually the world's biggest phone manufacturer any more. That honour goes to Chinese firm BBK Group, which makes handsets for multiple brands, including OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo. When combined, they sold more phones in Q4 than both Apple and Samsung.

ee.co.uk - PAY MONTHLY PHONES The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is now available on EE who have been awarded the UK’s best network for the fifth year running. RootMetrics tested the four UK networks and EE was faster and more reliable than all of them, with better data performance. Their network has come a long way since they launched in 2012. Back then they had 11 UK cities covered by 4G. Today they cover most of the UK’s land mass, thanks to 19,000 state-of-the-art 4G sites. They’ve got faster, too – from 50Mbps to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And they’re soon to experience even greater possibilities with the launch of 5G.

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