Thursday, 31 October 2019 09:12

Huawei takes record 42% share of China smartphone market in Q3

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Huawei takes record 42% share of China smartphone market in Q3 Pixabay

The smartphone market in mainland China grew marginally in the third quarter, with shipments increasing to 97.8 million units from 97.6 million in the second quarter. Huawei extended its market lead by shipping 41.5 million smartphones, to take its market share to a record 42%.

Figures from the technology analyst group Canalys said Huawei's growth was now at an annual rate of 66%, and the third quarter marked its sixth straight quarter of double-digit growth.

But overall, China's smartphone market was gloomy, with the other top five vendors — OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi and Apple — shrinking. The combined share of these five was 50%, down from 64% a year earlier, and a fall from 54% in the second quarter of 2019. The overall market showed a drop against the previous year again, though the fall was down to 3%.

“Huawei opened a huge gap between itself and other vendors. It has 25% more share than this quarter’s runner-up, vivo,” said Nicole Peng, Canalys vice-president of mobility.

She said Huawei's dominant position gave the company power to negotiate with the supply chain and increase its wallet share within channel partners.

table sp q3

"Huawei is in a strong position to consolidate its dominance further amid the 5G network rollout, given its tight operator relationships in 5G network deployment, and control over key components such as local network compatible 5G chipsets compared with local peers," Peng added.

"This puts significant pressure on OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi, which find it very hard to make any breakthrough.”

OPPO fell to third behind its stablemate vivo, with Xiaomi taking the fourth spot. OPPO, vivo and OnePlus are all manufactured by the same company, BBK Electronics.

“vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi’s shipments are in freefall, despite new products constantly being pushed to market,” said Shanghai-based Canalys research analyst Louis Liu.

“Smaller vendors hope to leverage 5G to rapidly boost market share given that China major operators have aggressively pushed 5G pre-registration with plentiful discounts and free 5G data allowance, which has resulted in over 10 million subscribers registering an interest to move to 5G.

“In addition to Huawei, vivo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Samsung have launched 5G-capable smartphones costing between US$500 and US$1000, with more products likely to follow in Q4. However, Canalys expects 5G tariffs and device prices to fall rapidly to attract mass market consumers, with similar intense competition to the 4G era among major vendors, causing first-mover advantage in 5G to diminish in next to no time.”

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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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