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Chinese smartphone shipments fall after six quarters

Chinese smartphone shipments fall after six quarters

Six consecutive quarters of growth for smartphones in China came to an end in Q2 2017, as device shipments dropped by 3%.

Research from Canalys observed that around 113 million smartphones shipped in China during the quarter, down 1 million on the previous three months.

Huawei maintained its lead across both quarters, having snagged pole position from its rival Oppo in Q1. It shipped 23 million smartphones across Q2, with Oppo taking second place with 21 million and Vivo third with 16 million. Although Vivo lost ground to its rivals, Oppo’s year-on-year growth increased to 37%.

However, Canalys notes that Xiaomi was “the standout vendor”, with a 60% sequential increase that saw it ship 15 million devices, surpassing Apple and taking fourth place. Apple saw its annual shipments fall during the quarter, along with Samsung and Meizu.

Canalys research analyst Lucio Chen described Xiaomi as providing “the best value in the Chinese market”, saying that cost-conscious customers tended to opt for the brand. He added that the “offline dominance” enjoyed by Vivo and Oppo could be reduced by Xiaomi’s expansive online presence and purchasing channels.

Fellow analyst Hattie He noted that similar factors were helping Redmi and Honor impact on the mid-tier sector of Vivo and Oppo. “The failure to establish online channels will slow the momentum of these rising stars,” she said.

“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.