After spending two quarters in second place, Huawei moved past Oppo to recapture the lead in China’s smartphone market in Q1 2017. The Chinese smartphone giant, which launched the P10 and P10 Plus during MWC, shipped close to 21 million units to secure an 18% market share.
Despite strong annual growth of 55%, Oppo fell to second place with shipments of just under 20 million units. Third-placed Vivo had the lowest annual growth of the top three, capturing a 15% share with its shipment of 17 million units.
“China’s smartphone market continues to grow, with shipments increasing by over 9% year on year this quarter,” said Canalys Research Analyst Lucio Chen. “But there is a clear indication that the market is consolidating. The top three vendors are pulling away at the head of the market, accounting for more than 50% of shipments for the first time this quarter. In the corresponding quarter a year ago, Huawei led with Vivo second and Oppo fourth, together accounting for 42% of the market. Xiaomi took third place but has since fallen to fifth behind Apple, shipping just over 9 million units in Q1 2017.”
Xiaomi faces increasing pressure from Huawei’s online efforts with Honor, as well as Oppo and Vivo, whose marketing activities have been taking attention away from Xiaomi. “To grow this year, Xiaomi will need to quickly switch from being a value-for-money vendor to become an aspirational brand,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia. “Xiaomi’s desire to move up the value chain in China will be an uphill struggle, considering Oppo and Vivo’s lead and Huawei’s plans to increase investment in its offline channel in 2017.”
Canalys estimates 114 million smartphones shipped in China in the quarter ending 31 March 2017.