When it comes to the world of Chinese made smartphones, there are some names which garner more attention than others. In the West, it’s those which marry top tier specifications with startlingly low prices (see: Xiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei). Below those big names though, there’s a whole world of manufacturers offering their wares. From the deeply obscure (hi, Micromax) to the is-this-company-even-real (what’s up, HOMTOM, Ulefone and VKworld?), there’s literally hundreds of companies vying for your attention. But what about the ones in the middle, the almost-famous companies like Vivo, Gionee and (to a lesser extent) Oppo? Well, 2015 was pretty kind to them. A report from Beijing Business Today, translated on Digitimes, suggests that these so-called 2nd-tier smartphone vendors all saw strong shipment growth in 2015. Here’s what they say: Oppo saw its total smartphone shipments grow 67% on year to over 50 million units in 2015, said the paper, which also noted that Oppo and Vivo took the eighth and ninth positions in the global top-10 smartphone vendor rankings in 2015 with a 3.8% and 3.3% share, respectively, citing data from TrendForce. Citing data from Sino Market Research, sales of smartphones in the China market totaled 33.57 million units in February 2016, decreasing 3.4% from a year earlier. However, shipments from Oppo grew 524,000 units to 4.554 million units in the month, while Vivo saw its shipments gain 610,000 units to 4.44 million, and Gionee’s shipment increased 160,000 units to 1.67 million. If correct, those numbers show very strong growth for all three of companies, especially in light of a shrinking domestic market. Indeed, whilst a keen observer might expect Oppo to creep into the top 10 global smartphone companies, Vivo’s appearance here is something of a shock. It’s likely related to the huge expansion of India’s smartphone market, where Chinese smartphone makers are setting up shop to compete for a market which uses smartphones oftentimes as their sole portal to the Internet.