Saturday, 01 August 2020 05:45

Huawei keeps top position in China 2Q smartphone shipments too Featured

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Huawei keeps top position in China 2Q smartphone shipments too Image by farukgarib14 from Pixabay

Much as it did in global shipments for the second quarter, Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has done likewise in China, leading its home market by shipping 40.2 million units in the quarter and extending its market share to a massive 44%. There was a broad swathe of daylight between Huawei and second-placed vivo.

But Samsung, which stood second to Huawei in global shipments for the second quarter, was more or less eclipsed in China, being relegated to the category of "others", brands with a negligible percentage of market share.

Technology analyst firm Canalys said fellow Chinese brands vivo and OPPO were second and third in shipments, showing growth of 23% and 16% sequentially respectively, with shipments of 14.8 million units and 14.5 million units respectively.

Xiaomi was fourth with 9.3 million units shipped and 21% growth quarter-on-quarter. Apple posted the fastest growth among the top five, with 25% sequentially and 35% annually, shipping 7.7 million iPhones for the quarter, with online sales and a lower priced product portfolio identified as the contributory factors.

“A mature e-commerce channel in China is critical to the Chinese smartphone market recovery.” said Canalys senior analyst Jason Low.

canalys 2q china2

“Thanks to the significant marketing push and sales incentives offered by major e-commerce players like Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo during the quarter, smartphone vendors saw stronger than expected Q2 results, despite offline traffic being weak.

"Premium brands like Huawei and Apple keep investing online and are benefitting from the soaring appetite for online shopping.”

The firm predicted that China's smartphone shipments would touch 325 million in 2020.

“Although there is a small domestic resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, overall business activities and economic recovery are unlikely to reverse,” added Low. “Consumer demand for smartphones is likely to improve gradually, with growth uncertainties persisting. Chinese vendors are keen to rapidly capitalise on China's recovery to offset their losses in other major markets, where the negative impact of coronavirus may be more prolonged.”

canalys 2q china

Regarding the impact of the low-cost iPhone SE in China, Low said the launch of the device had come right after the Chinese market reopened in April and created a real buzz, with promotions around installment plans and trade-in offers.

“Lower price points work exceptionally well with online channels, where e-retailers can couple a device with a wide range of payment options and bundling offers," he said. "Sales subsidies, in this case, are highly effective too. The level of collaboration between Apple and e-commerce players is new, the results of which are welcomed by consumers.”

Research analyst Louis Liu said 5G smartphones were thriving with 39 million units shipped in China in Q2 2020, up 260% from Q1.

“The local brands are driving 5G penetration within their portfolio to support operator efforts to transition existing 4G users to 5G; this has already surpassed 100 million subscribers in July," he noted.

"Huawei is aiming to be the go-to 5G brand in China. Its 5G portfolio exceeded 60% of its total shipments in Q2. Meanwhile, close to a third of the shipments of competitors, such as vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi are already 5G-enabled.

"Few new 4G models will appear in any major vendors’ second half roadmap this year. 5G adoption will, therefore, accelerate as consumers will have fewer 4G options when they replace their smartphones.”

Charts: Courtesy Canalys


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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