The battery problem that caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire in September has lead Samsung to register its ever worst smartphone sales performance.

The Korea-based manufacturer saw sales of smartphones drop 14.2 percent year-on-year to 71.7 million in the three months to September, according to data from Gartner.

Its share of the global smartphone market has declined from 23.6 percent to 19.2 percent over the same period.

Samsung's previous worst performance for smartphone sales was a 12.3 per cent drop in the fourth quarter of 2014, Gartner said, which came following the launch of Apple's first ever large screen phone.

Given Samsung pulled the device entirely last month, having first tried to replace the faulty battery, Q4 figures are unlikely to see any improvement when they are revealed.

Gartner Research Director Anshul Gupta said: "The decision to withdraw the Galaxy Note 7 was correct, but the damage to Samsung's brand will make it harder for the company to increase its smartphone sales in the short term.

“For Samsung, it's crucial that the Galaxy S8 launches successfully, so that partners and customers regain trust in its brand."

Apple was unable to capitalise on its rival’s misfortune, however, as it saw sales drop by over three million to 43 million.

Its market share also declined, from 13 percent 12 months ago to 11.5 percent today.

The big winners were China-based manufacturers Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication equipment.

They now sell 32.5 million, 24.9 million and 19.9 million devices respectively.

Oppo in particular has seen stellar growth, having more than doubled the 11.9 million units it sold in Q3 2015.

Across all brands, sales of smartphones to end users totalled 373 million units, a 5.4 percent increase.

Android grew its lead in the operating system market, with 87.8 percent of all smartphones sold in Q3 running the Google-owned OS.

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