According to the latest research from Counterpoint Market Monitor service, the smartphones shipments in China grew a modest 3 percent annually during Q2 2017 (April-June), registering the second consecutive quarter of annual growth this year.
The report said that Huawei and Vivo are the fastest growing brands followed by Oppo and Xiaomi, together cementing the top four spots and extending their lead over Apple and Samsung by a widening margin.
Commenting on the results, Research Director, James Yan, highlighted that, "June seasonally is a strong month for China as it is usually buoyed by portfolio upgrades from major brands such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi. The top four Chinese brands now capture close to 69 percent of the market as these brands have raced ahead of international and other local brands with expansive distribution reach and exciting portfolio."
Apple's performance continues to be seasonal, while Samsung is losing out to the Oppo-Vivo onslaught in offline.
Xiaomi made a surprise comeback after being on the decline for several quarters against Huawei's Honor brand.
Huawei continued to capture the top spot this quarter ahead of rivals Oppo and Vivo, shipping higher volumes into the channels. Huawei's Nova, Enjoy series along with flagship P10 were in strong demand during the quarter," noted Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi saw a positive uptick growing 20 percent YoY and almost doubling the volumes sequentially after a dip in Q1 2017 when the vendor volumes reached almost 2013 levels.
The key reason behind the comeback can be attributed to strong demand for its latest flagship Mi 6 and low-tier models such as Redmi Note 4X as well as focus on diversifying distribution channels.
Sharing insights on the growth prospects, Research Director, Neil Shah noted, We are nearing the time where the days of easy growth are over for Huawei, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi in China. The competitive landscape is converging as all the top four Chinese brands have reached a steady and dominant position in a very slow growing market. The race for the top two spots is always up for grabs as one misstep can push a brand easily two spots behind.