Canalys stated competition in China’s smartphone market heated up in Q3 as vendors introduced new models to stimulate consumer upgrades and brand switches, though shipments continued to decline.

Senior analyst Toby Zhu noted signs of a bottoming out in shipments, citing continued efforts by manufacturers to refine incentives.

Zhu cited “an expected gradual demand recovery”, with Huawei set to spur competition and rivals to “proactively expand their product portfolios and accelerate upgrade frequency, especially in the high-end category, to stimulate consumer upgrades and brand switches”.

Shipments declined 5 per cent year-on-year to 66.7 million units.

Canalys ranked Honor top on 11.8 million units, down 1 per cent, followed by Oppo on 10.9 million, Apple (10.6 million), Vivo (10.4 million) and Xiaomi (9.1 million).

The research company noted Huawei gained market share and inched its way towards the top five through its high-profile Mate 60 series.