China s smartphone market is believed to have hit a saturation point. This only means more intense competition between the smartphone brands. Unlike the Indian market, homegrown players like Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi have dominated the market for quite some time. Huawei and OPPO, in particular, have been in the close contest for the number one position. According to the latest Canalys report, Huawei is now at the number one spot for the first quarter of this year. Also Read - Best 5G smartphones with top MediaTek processors under Rs 30,000 in June 2021Also Read - Vivo Y73 launches in India to compete with Redmi Note 10 Pro Max with 1TB expandable storage
According to the report, Huawei has gone past OPPO and other major players including Vivo and Xiaomi. Huawei’s comeback as market leader is credited to its latest flagship smartphones, Huawei P10 and P10 Plus. The two handsets were first announced at the MWC 2017 expo in February. Huawei gained 18 percent of the total market share in China in Q1 2017 as it shipped close to 21 million units.
Huawei is followed by OPPO and Vivo. While OPPO managed to ship just under 20 million units, Vivo accounted for 15 percent of the market share as it shipped 17 million units. Even though OPPO slipped to the second spot, the company registered an annual growth of 55 percent, according to the report. ALSO READ: Huawei Y3 (2017) live photos, user manual leaked ahead of launch
The report highlights the ongoing consolidation phase in the market. “The top three vendors are pulling away at the head of the market, accounting for more than 50 percent of shipments for the first time this quarter. In the corresponding quarter a year ago, Huawei led with Vivo second and OPPO fourth, together accounting for 42 percent of the market,” it noted.
Canalys also sheds light on the performance of Xiaomi in China. Even though Xiaomi has tasted success in India, especially in the budget segment, it has continued to struggle on its home turf. According to the research agency, the company is facing an “increasing pressure” from Huawei’s growing presence in online segment with its sub-brand Honor. It points out OPPO and Vivo have succeeded in stealing Xiaomi’s thunder with aggressive market campaigns.
Mo Jia, Research Analyst at Canalys stressed, “To grow this year, Xiaomi will need to quickly switch from being a value-for-money vendor to become an aspirational brand. Xiaomi’s desire to move up the value chain in China will be an uphill struggle, considering Oppo and Vivo’s lead and Huawei’s plans to increase investment in its offline channel in 2017.”