According to a report from IDC, the Chinese smartphone market registered a growth of 4.6% YoY in Q2 2016, with overall shipments of 111.2 million units, as opposed to the 106.3 million handsets that were sold during during the same period last year. Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have retained their top three positions from the last quarter with market shares of 17.2%, 16.2% and 13.2% respectively. While Huawei managed to ship 19.1 million smartphones during Q2 2016, Oppo did 18 million units, whereas Vivo shifted 14.7 million units during the quarter. Apple and Xiaomi, meanwhile, were two of the leading vendors to have suffered during the period, with both losing not just market share, but a large chunk of their sales as well.
Xiaomi, once the largest smartphone vendor in the country ahead of Apple, is now languishing at number four with sales of just 10.5 million handsets and a market share of 9.5%. In the corresponding period last year, the company had managed to sell 17.1 million devices and a 16.1% market share. While Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have seen their sales grow 15.2%, 124.1% and 74.7% YoY respectively, Xiaomi’s precipitous fall has seen them decline 38.4% during the same period. However, the top four vendors, Xiaomi included, accounted for around 57% of the overall smartphone shipments in a market notorious for high levels of fragmentation. Apple, coming in at number five, had 7.8% share of the market during the period; a fall from 11.9% during the corresponding period last year. Another point to note here is the ever-growing popularity of large-screen phones in the country, with almost 90% of all handsets sold during the period featuring display panels of at least 5-inches or above.
Analysts in the country, meanwhile, are hailing the steady consolidation in the country’s smartphone sector as a positive. According to Ms. Xiaohan Tay, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific, the growth of Huawei, Oppo and Vivo is the direct result of the “aggressive marketing strategies” adopted by the three companies over the past few quarters. The three have also developed strong relations with retailers, which have helped them make a bigger impact than online vendors like Xiaomi in tier 3 to tier 5 cities across the country. Another comparatively newer phenomenon in the country seems to be celebrity endorsements, which is also apparently yielding results for these new leaders of the Chinese smartphone market and helping them get ahead of their competition in a highly competitive market.