China’s smartphone market bounced back to above 100 million in the second quarter of 2018 with home player Huawei on top, according to the latest numbers shared by research firm Canalys. Huawei was on top with a record 27 per cent market share. The second quarter of 2018 saw a jump in smartphone shipments in China, compared to the first quarter, which had seen a 20 per cent fall with only 91 million units of smartphones being shipped.
According to data from Canalys, Huawei (including its sub-brand Honor) have a market share of 27 per cent. This is biggest share for any smartphone vendor in China since Q2 2011, according to the research firm. Huawei also broke the record for the highest number of shipments into the channel by any vendor with 28.5 million units of smartphones.
Number two on the list was Oppo with 21 per cent market share, though it saw only 3 per cent growth compared to Q2, 2017. Vivo was number three with 20 per cent market share and close to 30 per cent growth from last year.
Xiaomi was number four in the list with 14 per cent market share, but zero per cent growth compared to the same quarter last year, according to numbers shared by Canalys. Apple was number five, but as Canalys noted, both Xiaomi and Apple saw their market share fall in China. For Xiaomi, which has just gone public in Hong Kong, the lack of growth in China will not come as good news.
It also looks like smaller vendors are struggling in China. According to the research firm, the top five vendors now account for 90% of shipments. For smaller vendors, keeping up with shipments will get even tougher, notes Canalys.
Where Huawei goes, according to the numbers, its sub-brand Honor accounted for 55% of its shipments in the quarter. This is an increase of 33% a year ago, which shows how fast Honor is growing as a brand in the Huawei portfolio. Huawei’s self-branded smartphones includes the P series, Nova, and Mate devices; these accounted for 45% of total sell-in to China. About half of these were Nova models.
“Honor is now the largest smartphone brand in the Huawei Consumer Business Group. Enjoying a high level of autonomy within Huawei, Honor has been pushing to make a name for itself in the market. It has expanded successfully into the US$500+ segment with its latest flagship models and continues to erode the market share of its direct competitors in the low-cost segment, such as Xiaomi,” Canalys Analyst Mo Jia said.
“But Honor’s independent operation and increasing strength will pose a dilemma for the other Huawei sub-brands, Mate, P and Nova, which risk losing resources to Honor in the common goal to meet Huawei’s global target of 200 million smartphone sold in 2018,” she added.
On the China market itself, Canalys expected the market to decline in the coming quarters. The reason for this will be “declines in shipments from smaller vendors that are unable to sustain volumes and are therefore finding it difficult to justify further investment in the market,” said Jia.