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China's Smartphone Market Continues Shift Toward Oppo, Vivo

Huawei also makes another strong showing as shares for Xiaomi and Apple dwindle

November 7, 2016 | Mobile

Q2 2016 data on smartphone shipments in China revealed that, alongside Huawei, Oppo had risen to be one of the most popular smartphone brands in the country. Q3 data from Counterpoint corroborates that growth, as well as the falling share of shipments from Xiaomi.

Smartphone Shipment Share in China, by Brand, Q3 2015, Q2 2016 & Q3 2016 (% of total)

In Q3 2015, Huawei shipped more smartphones than any other single brand, according to Counterpoint, and that trend continued in Q2 2016, when it shipped nearly 17% of all smartphones that quarter. That figure is in line with Q2 data from International Data Corporation (IDC), which gave Huawei a 17.2% share of Chinese smartphone shipments, with Oppo in second with 16.2%.

Vivo was also rising up the ranks according to both Counterpoint and IDC, and by Q3 2016 had, along with Oppo, surpassed Huawei in shipment share. This may have relegated Huawei to third place in share of smartphone shipments in Q3 2016, but so far the change in Huawei’s market share has been minimal. Nearly 17% of all phones shipped that quarter were made by Oppo, and Vivo shipped about 16% of all smartphones. Huawei still shipped 15% of the total figure.

The manufacturers losing significant share of shipments were, instead, Xiaomi and Apple, just as in the earlier data from IDC.

Smartphone Shipment Growth in China, by Brand, Q3 2016 (% change vs. prior quarter and % change vs. same period of prior year)

Xiaomi and Apple aren’t just losing share, either—they’re also shipping fewer phones than they were a year ago.

Counterpoint reported that shipments of Apple phones were down 27% in Q3 2016 vs. Q3 2015, and shipments of Xiaomi-made devices were down 22% over the same period. Declines in shipments may be slowing, however—compared to Q2 2016, shipments were about flat for Xiaomi and up 5% for Apple.

eMarketer estimates a total of 552 million smartphone users in China in 2016, a figure that will grow nearly 20% to more than 593 million users by 2017.

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