The global smartphone business is saturated with competition, and China is one of the largest smartphone markets in the world. Competition is stiff, and Chinese companies are making a name for themselves with great phones at an affordable cost. Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are growing at a steady rate. Companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, and OnePlus have already made their presence felt across the world with their array of devices catering to a wide range of budgets. Huawei deserves special mention as over the years, the company has set out to consistently strive to carve out its place among the stalwarts, developing its in-house chipset, collaborating with Leica to produce better smartphone cameras, and also introducing a much loved Google Nexus 6P last year.
As high-end smartphone sales continue to decline in China, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo capitalize on the market. The total number of smartphones shipped in China, the most competitive smartphone market, increased by 2.9% per quarter in the second quarter of 2016, totaling 149 million units. To put things in perspective, the new figure translates to a 14.3% rise over last year in smartphone sales. And the majority of these sales came from Huawei, which dominated the market with a 14% share of the market in the second quarter, closely followed by the trio of Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi. Citing a decline in high-end smartphone sales, Apple’s market share fell below 10%. Oppo enjoyed 12.7% of the market share, with Vivo and Xiaomi trailing behind at 11.2% and 10.4% respectively.
With Samsung’s sale volume plateauing and Apple already on a decline, Huawei is trying to close the gap. The Shenzhen-based company has been working with Alphabet Inc. to develop VR ready phones. The long-term partnership with Leica is also expected to help Huawei compete with Samsung and Apple better in terms of camera performance. Their latest flagship Huawei P9, a high-end smartphone sporting a dual-camera setup developed in partnership with Leica, has also received a lot of favorable reviews. This being said Huawei is struggling with a rapid overall slowdown of sales in China, dropping from 63% growth in 2013 to a measly 2.5% in 2015. In the words of Chinese manufacturer OnePlus’ CEO Pete Lau, the smartphone market of China is a ‘very cruel market’.