The top two smartphone manufacturers in China during the first quarter were Apple Inc. and Oppo, in a country where the market is still contracting after a year of economic turmoil.
According to the most recent data from IDC, Oppo, a company based in Shenzhen, had the largest share of shipments at 19.6%, closely followed by Apple’s iPhone.
Estimates from Counterpoint and Canalys, which consider sales and shipments, gave Apple a slim lead. After releasing its iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series, the US electronics company secured the top spot in the final three months of 2017.
For the majority of the past year, the Chinese smartphone market experienced double-digit declines, beginning with sharp drops in sales of Android handsets like those made by Oppo and eventually affecting even Apple’s iPhone line. Shipments to mainland China fell 11% year on year in the first quarter, reaching the lowest first-quarter levels in a decade, according to Canalys.
IDC reported that price reductions for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models helped in February, but the launch of a new yellow iPhone 14 handset failed to generate much excitement. Early in March, Apple unveiled the new color choice in an effort to maintain consumer interest in the pricey product, which in China starts at 5,999 yuan ($870).
IDC reports that Oppo exceeded expectations in the last quarter’s sales of premium devices. Along with a positive response to its foldable devices, its sub-brand OnePlus’s return to the domestic market gave it a boost. In China, where every local phone manufacturer now offers at least one foldable model, Samsung Electronics Co., the market leader in smartphones and foldables, has a negligible presence.
None of China’s top five vendors experienced positive growth. The top three brands were Vivo, Honor Mobile, and Xiaomi Corp., all of which experienced significant drops in sales from the same time last year.
Despite a recovery in the overall economy, smartphone production is down 13.8% in the second-largest economy in the world this year, according to official data.
In a report released on Thursday, Canalys analyst Lucas Zhong stated that “the pandemic affected consumer behavior in the medium to long term, where consumers tended to spend their income on necessities and maintain certain savings.” “Vendors must present persuading products to encourage upgrades.”