U.S. handset giant Apple’s market share and shipments in China are slipping as domestic vendors increase their dominance in China’s smartphone market.
Chinese brands Oppo, Huawei, and Vivo collectively grabbed just over half (51 percent) of the market share in China in the fourth quarter 2016, and just under half (48 percent) for the full year, new data from International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates.
According to IDC metrics, Oppo led smartphone vendors in China in both the fourth quarter and the year overall, with 24.5 million shipments and 18.1 percent of the market share in the quarter and 78.4 million shipments and 16.8 percent of the market share for the full year. Those figures represented 109 percent growth year over year for the quarter and 122 percent growth over 2015’s figures.
Huawei was hot on Oppo’s heels both in the quarter and overall, with 22.9 million shipments from October to December and 76.6 million shipments for the full year. The company’s growth of more than 20 percent in both periods took it to 16.9 percent market share for the quarter and 16.4 percent for the full year. Vivo followed in a close third with more than 96 percent growth to hit 21.7 million shipments and 16 percent market share in the fourth quarter and 69.2 million shipments and 14.8 percent of the market share for the full year.
By contrast, Apple’s figures slipped, shrinking nearly 13 percent in the quarter to just 14.9 million shipments and 11 percent market share, down from 17.1 million shipments and 15 percent market share in the fourth quarter 2015. The company’s full year results dipped even further, with a 23 percent slide to 44.9 million shipments and 9.6 percent market share compared to 58.4 million shipments and 13.6 percent market share in 2015.
Apple’s losses came despite an aggressive increase in its offline retail presence. IDC said the cost of devices played a big role in Oppo and Vivo’s success at Apple’s expense.
“Increased dependence on mobile apps has led to consumers to seek phone upgrades, thus helping drive the large growth in 2016Q4. In lower-tiered cities, there was a similar demand by consumers, which Oppo and Vivo met by aggressively pushing mid-range smartphones in these cities,” Tay Xiaohan, senior market analyst with IDC’s Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team, observed.
Despite the slide, IDC indicated it doesn’t believe the Chinese vendors have truly eaten away Apple’s market share. Instead, the firm speculated most Apple users are holding out for another revolutionary iPhone in 2017. Those sales should help the brand return to growth this year, IDC predicted.