Smartphones sales in China have reportedly experienced a decline of 17 per cent (on-year) in 2020 which is said to be the biggest decline in the last three years. According to reports, Apple was the only brand that recorded a positive growth in the market which is being attributed to the launch of its iPhone 12 series.
Apple’s iPhone 12 series comes with 5G connectivity and has models across a wide price range. The iPhone 11 series also reportedly did well after heavy price cuts and promotions. It was the best-selling model on JD.com during the e-commerce festivals sales. According to Counterpoint Research, the impressive growth of iPhone 11 and 12 series helped Apple increase its market share in China to 16 per cent in Q4 2020.
Sales of Huawei and Honor declined following the US trade sanctions on China
Huawei (including Honor) managed to acquire the top spot by capturing 41 per cent market share last year. According to research analyst Flora Tang, sales of Huawei and Honor dropped following the US trade sanctions on China.
“Following component shortages after the US trade sanctions effective September 15, sales of Huawei and Honor dropped a staggering 26 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2020. Their combined market share also slipped to 32 per cent in the same quarter”, said Tang.
“A weakened economy and longer smartphone replacement cycles all contributed to the lackluster demand. However, China’s 5G smartphone sales surged with Chinese OEMs aggressively rolling out more value-for-money offerings”, research analyst Mengmeng Zhang was quoted as saying by reports.
Zhang added that 5G penetration rate became more pronounced in Q4 with the launch of iPhone 12 series. He said that smartphones with 5G connectivity accounted for over 60 per cent of smartphones sold in China while in Q4 2019 they accounted for just 5 per cent share. China’s 5G smartphones sales accounted for more than 60 per cent of total smartphone sales in Q4 2020.
Xiaomi, OPPO, Viv witnesses decline
Xiaomi reportedly recorded a double-digit decline of 14 per cent (YoY) last year, however, it still outperformed the market. Following the good performance of Xiaomi 10, Redmi 9A, Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi 10 series and Redmi K30 series, Xiaomi’s sales bounced back strongly starting from the second half of the last year.
Sales of OPPO and Vivo declines last year following the overall market trend. However, OPPO had its strongest quarter in Q4 where it recorded a growth of 9 per cent compared to Q3 on strong momentum from the OPPO A32, A72 and Reno 5 series.