Chinese smartphone manufacturers will have to boost their sales in foreign markets in order to maintain their market share in 2018, according to research firm TrendForce. The company said there are multiple factors that will affect the growth of Chinese device makers this year. A key factor is the saturation of the Chinese market, i.e. the fact that the majority of potential customers in China already have a smartphone and a decreasing number of people is already looking to upgrade their device with a new one. TrendForce states that both OPPO and Vivo will be affected by the market saturation since the business models of the two manufacturers rely primarily on sales generated within their home country. Not only are they facing less room for growth, the two companies also have to deal with the increased prices of smartphone components. This year, the research firm expects that the BBK Electronics-owned manufacturers to see a ten percent drop in smartphone sales compared to 2017.
On the other hand, TrendForce expects that Xiaomi will see a boost in its sales due to its commercial success in emerging markets like India and Indonesia. In fact, the research firm projects Xiaomi will catch up to OPPO and Vivo in terms of handset sales, and most of this growth will come from overseas markets. In the third quarter of 2017, Xiaomi shipped around 9.2 million smartphones in India, closing the gap with current market leader Samsung. To further boost its market share in the South Asian country, Xiaomi aims to increase its offline sales by opening more brick-and-mortar stores.
TrendForce also released its predictions regarding Samsung's smartphone sales, having forecasted its shipments will drop by three percent in 2018, although it is expected to retain its top global position ahead of Apple and several Chinese companies. In the previous year, the South Korean company's entry-level smartphone range, the Samsung Galaxy J series, made up the majority of its shipments, according to TrendForce, and the success of the lineup compensated for the company's poor sales in China. The research firm also predicts that in 2018, more smartphone makers will incorporate technologies like 18:9 aspect ratio displays and dual cameras. Likewise, devices with 3D sensing and under-display fingerprint scanners may start shipping by the second half of 2018.