While the Big Two deal with flagging fortunes, the Chinese brands are going well, with the top three - Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment - all recording increasing sales for the latest quarter.
Globally, smartphone sales increased by 5.4% year-on-year, with 373.2-million devices sold.
81% of Oppo's Q3, smartphone sales were in China, and 89% of BBK's were in China.
Third-quarter smartphone sales showed strength by Chinese vendors but declines of 6% for Apple iPhones and 14% for Samsung smartphones over a year ago.
Samsung and Apple are leaking market share in the smartphone space while Chinese rivals flourish, data from Gartner has found.
Gartner's survey confirmed other reports showing Samsung and Apple at the top of the global market but with slipping sales.
Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner said smartphone sales in China have grown by 12.4 percent, benefiting mostly Oppo and BBK.
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Q3 smartphones sales showed 6.6% decline for Apple and a 14.2% decline for Samsung. Ltd, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment, which completed the top five list, recorded increase in sales, together accounting for 21% of total smartphone sales across the world.
Samsung's record decline coincided with its Galaxy Note 7 exploding-battery disaster, which Gartner expects will prevent it boosting sales in the short term and leaves a lot riding on a problem-free Galaxy S8 launch. This equated to a year-on-year drop of 4.2 points in the firm's market share, which now stands at 19.2 percent.
Apple's iPhone sales are down by 6.6 percent across the world, but declines have been steeper in the USA and China, where sales have fallen by 8.5 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Both vendors also saw growth in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Russian Federation. Its biggest drop was in China, where sales dropped 31%.
"Highly competitive and feature-packed Honor devices maintained their sales momentum in markets around the world, with expansion into Europe and the U.S. likely to help Huawei record another year of promising growth", stated Gartner.
Google's Android captured almost 88 percent of the total market in the operating system market.
"The withdrawal of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 may benefit sales of Apple's iPhone 7 Plus only slightly, as Note 7 users are likely to stay with Samsung or at least with Android", said Gartner's Roberta Cozza.
"To some extent, other Android vendors could capitalise on this situation in the short term, for example Huawei and other Chinese brands present in the premium Android phone segment".