Competition in China’s smartphone market intensified in Q3 amid slowing growth, with the top three vendors – Oppo, Huawei and Vivo – separated by less than 1 percentage point in terms of market share, Counterpoint Research announced.
The research company said Oppo remained on top in the quarter with an 18.9 per cent share (it led with a 16.5 per cent share in Q3 2016), followed by Huawei and Vivo, both with an 18.6 per cent share (see chart below, click to enlarge).
While smartphone shipments in the country fell 1 per cent year-on-year in Q3, the quarter was marked by strong growth among the top three. Oppo’s shipments jumped 109 per cent year-on-year, while Vivo’s increased 78 per cent (Counterpoint Research bases its figures on sales into the first tier of the distribution channel rather than to end-users.)
James Yan, research director at the company, said growth for these two brands actually slowed during the quarter, but they continue to grow at a healthy rate. Oppo’s R11 was the bestselling model overall.
Huawei, offering a wider portfolio across a broad range of price bands, increased shipments 23 per cent year-on-year in Q3.
Xiaomi’s shipments rose 32 per cent and it was in fourth place with a 13.8 per cent market share, followed by Apple with a 10 per cent share.
Counterpoint research analyst Mengmeng Zhang said Xiaomi made a strong comeback, with growth driven by demand for its Redmi 4X series at the low-end and Mi 6 at the high-end.
Apple shipments grew 17 per cent year-on-year. The research company expects many of Apple’s 100 million plus loyal iPhone users in China will upgrade to the iPhone X, which could help Apple grow both volume and value as demand is likely to spread beyond normal cyclic quarters.
The vendor still leads the premium segment (above about $500), and a strong performance from iPhone X will further consolidate its leadership in the segment.
Data from another research company, Canalys, had the top three vendors in China separated by just 2 percentage points, with Huawei on top with a 19 per cent share, follow by Oppo (18 per cent) and Vivo (17 per cent).