Smartphone shipments in China fell by 3 per cent in Q2 2017, marking the end of six consecutive quarters of growth, according to latest research from Canalys.
A total of 113 million smartphones were shipped in China during the period, one million less than the research firm estimated in Q1, with Huawei leading the pack for the second quarter in a row.
The company, which took top spot from rival Oppo last quarter, shipped 23 million smartphones in total. Oppo had to settle for second place with 21 million, despite growing 37 per cent year on year, while Vivo stayed in third place with 16 million, but lost ground on the leading pair during the period.
Canalys said Xiaomi was “the standout vendor” as it overtook Apple to take fourth place, shipping just under 15 million smartphones, a 60 per cent increase sequentially.
Lucio Chen, research analyst at Canalys, said Xiaomi offered “the best value in the Chinese market” and remained the preferred choice for price conscious consumers.
He also said that Xiaomi’s online channels and presence could potentially pose a threat to Oppo and Vivo’s “offline dominance”.
Canalys research analyst Hattie He added that the two companies face greater pressure on their mid-range from Redmi and Honor, for the same reason.
“The failure to establish online channels will slow the momentum of these rising stars,” she said.
As Apple lost its position in fourth place, the iPhone maker also suffered annual shipment declines in the quarter, along with Samsung and Meizu.
“China’s smartphone market continues to consolidate. The top five brands accounts for almost three quarters of shipments, with the top four all growing and adding 10 per cent to their cumulative share compared with the same quarter a year ago,” added He.