According to the new report by IDC, Cupertino- based tech giant Apple has been seeing double-digit year on year declines for the fifth quarter in a row in China, while Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo increased their share as the world's largest smartphone marker.
"Apple has been seeing double-digit YoY declines for the fifth quarter in a row, but we believe that Chinese consumers are holding out for the launch of Apple's 10-year anniversary iPhone at the end of the year, and this will help Apple to see a rebound in the China smartphone market,"says Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst with IDC Asia/Pacific's Client Devices team.
IDC says that Apple's smartphone shipments in China fell 26.7 percent year over year ( 2017 Q1 over 2016 Q1), while the market share dipped to 9.2 percent in the first quarter from 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 12.7 percent in last year's first quarter.
It also said that Huawei managed to grab 20 percent market share during the same period, followed by Oppo with 18.2 percent and Vivo with 14.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the report says that 104.1 million smartphones were shipped to China in Q1, 2017. This was a mere 1 percent YoY growth, in part the result of high inventory from the previous quarter. Adding that Q1 was also relatively quiet aside from a few product launches like Huawei's new P10, P10 Plus, and Honor V9. This, along with strong momentum for the Honor brand, helped Huawei reclaim the top position from OPPO.
"Despite a soft first quarter in China, the second quarter should pick up sequentially given not only JD.com's June promotions, but also activity around a number of new products like vivo with its Y53, Xiaomi with its Mi 6, Meizu with its E2, and Gionee with its M6S Plus," said Tay.
"Having one star flagship model that is marketed successfully is sufficient to significantly propel a company's shipments in the right direction. This can be aptly exemplified in OPPO's key flagship R9s which comprised close to half of its overall shipments. In light of the foregoing, whilst the Chinese companies can continue to innovate and try to outshine one another in the coming year, they can also consider focusing their resources on one or two key models with clear key messages than to stretch themselves thin and try to diversify their portfolio," Tay further added.