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Sluggish Chinese smartphone market to get boost from new launches

03 Aug 2017

Huawei has continued to hold top spot in the Chinese smartphone market, with the company logging a 22.6% year on year increase in shipments in the second quarter of 2017.

IDC’s latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows 111.8 million smartphones were shipped to China in Q2, with the market flat thanks to excess inventory from the previous quarter and the flagship launches from Oppo and Vivo happening only towards the end of Q3 and start of Q3.

Despite the flat market – which follows an ‘extremely high’ fourth quarter of 2016 – IDC says it expects shipments for the second half of the year to be higher than those seen so far this year, with Apple and other Chinese players pushing some of their flagship products.

The analyst firm is forecasting growth ahead for Apple in China, with pent up demand and anticipation for Apple’s 10 year anniversary iPhone, due for launch towards the end of the year.

“With the iPhone 8 expected to look significantly different from the 7s series, along with significant changes to its specifications, we expect the iPhone 8 to be more popular than the 7s series,” IDC says.

An influx of phones with dual front and rear cameras is also expected, as the selfie culture continues to be strong, while IDC is also forecasting Android ASPs to rise around 10% year on year in a year’s time as consumers seek to upgrade their phones with better quality and specifications.

IDC says Huawei’s P10 boosted the vendor’s shipment growth, but the company’s Honor branded phones also remain popular, making up more than half of Huawei’s overall 23.5 million shipments for Q2.

The company’s 21.0% market share for the quarter put it well ahead of rivals, with Oppo claiming second spot with 17.9% marketshare and 20.1 million shipments.

Oppo’s R9s/R9s Plus continued to be popular models for the vendor, despite it being the third shipping quarter for the devices, which made up half of Oppo’s overall shipments for the quarter. Despite its launch coming late in the quarter – in mid-June – Oppo’s R11 still managed to ship more than two million phones in the quarter.

“Oppo’s aggressive marketing efforts continued to pay off, and its R11 will continue to be an extremely important model for Oppo in the coming quarters,” IDC says.

Vivo’s 16.0 million shipments saw it take third place for smartphone shipments, taking 14.4% market share.

Xiaomi, however, was the big mover of the quarter, finally rebounding to see year on year growth of 25.0%, after resolving supply issues and increasing its offline presence through additional Mi Home stores. The company shipped 14.2 million devices to claim 12.7% share of the market.

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