OPPO, Vivo team up to push Xiaomi out of top 5


Xiaomi Mi 4s

While Xiaomi’s high-end phones from the ‘Mi’ series have been getting rave reviews and a lot of media footage, they however haven’t nearly as much as their budget Redmi phones.

Despite that, Xiaomi’s ouster from the top 5 global phone makers (according to IDC) is quite a revelation. This of course, represents data gathered from the first three months of 2016 – Q1 ’16.

According to this report, the following are the top 5 phone makers globally:

  • Samsung, with 81.9 million smartphone shipments
  • Apple, with 51.2 million smartphone shipments
  • Huawei, with 27.5 million smartphone shipments
  • OPPO, with 18.5 million smartphone shipments
  • Vivo, with 14.3 million smartphone shipments

Interesting to note is that unlike Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo both have strong offline presence. That combined with the fact that almost all to-be first time smartphone buyers have completed their phone purchases is what contribute to Xiaomi’s downfall.

Three of the five brands are Chinese. And most Chinese phone makers lack presence in Western markets, which is what all of them are eying right now.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team had the following to say: “Outside of China, many of these brands are virtually unknown and the ability of these rapidly growing Chinese vendors to gain entry into mature markets such as the United States and Western Europe will be essential if they have aspirations of catching Apple or Samsung at the top.”

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29 Comments

  1. April 28, 2016

    I am mystified as to how Oppo and Vivo are doing so well. I haven’t seen a phone by either that I would want to buy. Their phones seem to be to be either too expensive of to have mediocre battery life or both. Maybe they are fashionable, they do look nice but I want better functional value for money.

    • Rob
      April 28, 2016

      Yes they are both expensive, but as Apple and Samsung have shown – price doesn’t always matter. Some people will buy their products at any cost and they are the 2 biggest phone makers in the world.

    • MattD
      April 28, 2016

      I agree: everytime I see an article about an upcoming oppo or vivo phone, I read it only for the fun of guessing how much overpriced it will be…

    • Alexis T
      April 28, 2016

      I’m not surprised by Oppo’s and Vivo’s success, ’cause their products are (from my pov) top notch compared to other chinese brands, Xiaomi included. You can’t compare Xiaomi’s camera to Oppo’s or Vivo’s, as an exemple ^^

      What kind of functionalities are lacking in Oppo/Vivo phones, from your pov ?

      • Assefa Hanson
        April 28, 2016

        moose said battery life issues, thats a functionality problem

        • Alexis T
          April 28, 2016

          That was a problem 2 years ago, which has been solved by software optimization. I didn’t read R9 or Xplay 5 had same issues as their 2014 counterparts.

      • April 29, 2016

        I did not mean to imply that Oppo/Vivo lacked anything, only that I don’t see what you get for the extra money you have to pay for them. I’m not into cameras so I don’t care about that department.

        • Alexis T
          April 29, 2016

          I would say better camera/sound, better build quality, better design. Not all at the same time on each model, and it depends which brand you choose to compare with Oppo/Vivo, but globally thats the point, i think.

          • April 29, 2016

            I am happy with the Meizu Pro 5 which has all I want and you can buy it now for around $400 – the Oppo R Plus (listed at $499) is unlikely to have anywhere near as good battery life. I only need to charge the Meizu Pro 5 every 48 hours and it is rated very high on battery life on GSM Arena’s battery life list. Battery life is my number one priority.

            • Alexis T
              April 29, 2016

              I get your point. Maybe you should throw in the balance technologies like VOOC or QC when you think about battery life. It makes a difference IMHO.

            • April 29, 2016

              Just been looking at specs of some Vivo phones, most have small batteries although one of their latest, the XPlay 5 Elite has a 3600 mAh battery, but I’ve seen it listed at $699.99. I would never pay that much for this phone for the same reason I wouldn’t buy a high end Samsung phone – way too expensive when there are, for me, plenty of high enough end phones for a lot less money. The new LeTV phones are going to be a lot less expensive than last year’s, for example.

    • Ferkad
      April 28, 2016

      I am mystified by your comment. I have bought the last 2 Oppo phones and the last 3 Vivo phones because I am a kind of phone collector and all are remarkable phones. Vivo phones have an excellent autonomy and very good sound. Not the cheapest phones, sure, but all five were much more attaching than the mainstream Samsung or Apple than every other old lady carries.

  2. Simon
    April 28, 2016

    Is Oppo are doing so well. When will they launch the Find 9 ?

    • MinusPlusDivide
      April 28, 2016

      and vivo Xshot 2?

  3. Achilles
    April 28, 2016

    Unbelievable, how is it possible these two to surpass Xiaomi in units sold!
    I don’t even read threads about these two phonemakers, they are way too expensive,
    I am not going to spend a fortune for something without warranty or even long distance warranty. I prefer to spend some more to buy a Samsung locally.
    Xiaomi and other low cost chinese phonemakers is a different story, I don’t mind taking a risk and spending 200-250 bucks every now and then.
    It’s a pitty for Xiaomi, note 2, note 3/Pro, redmi note 3, Mi5 are great phones,
    excellent value for money.

    • dimitri
      April 30, 2016

      simple, they don’t use the shitty xiaomi process, they produce to sell, not to create a kind of buzz. So they have stocks. PLUS Vivo and Oppo are the same company. Vivo is an Oppo branch. So … it helps a lot to find channels when comes the time to sell. Xiaomi keeps playing their stupid game with online flash sales. I had Xiaomi phone for the last 4 years. They are great devices. Especially the third one. I even had a hongmi 2, which was a shit. the camera is an insult. Even I have been satisified, I keep using my old Xiaomi 2S until they produce something worthy. the 5, the real one I mean, is more expensive than ever, and the new hongmi full metal look like shit. The aluminium looks cheaper than the real nice plastic of the 4i 4c series. And to have to play their stupid games like a dog begging for a bone… it’s ridiculous and insulting the consumers. I am done with them. I only purchase their home device, air filtration machine mainly since I live in Beijing. If Xiaomi decide to really do something with their sales, to build solid stocks before launching the product, they could take their fair share. Till then, they can play with there minions, I won’t be one of them anymore.
      Dimitri,

      dimitri. french @qq.com

  4. Jiatao Chen
    April 28, 2016

    Actually, it’s not so surprising.
    Xiaomi is popular, but their ability to take advantage of market demand is hampered by their reliance on underserving and starving the market to create hype.
    where as Vivo and Oppo has the China market tied down with their ubiquitous sales points.
    You can just walk into any phone shop and by Vivo Oppo phones the day they lunch. Where large portion of Xiaomi customers are actually turned away by Xiaomi’s online sales!

  5. Angry Mobile Nerd
    April 28, 2016

    I think most readers don’t understand that Oppo and Vivo have a *huge* retail presence in China. If I walk down the shopping street outside where I work the top three brands you will see plastered everywhere (literally banners taped down onto sidewalks) will be Oppo, Vivo, and China Mobile. They are the masters of mass marketing.

    • illystor
      April 28, 2016

      Yeah the latest X-Play with that weird guy being sort of blown away advert was all over the bus-stops and everything here. Vivo really went all out. Though Meizu M3 Note stuff has started popping up lately.

    • TheOracle
      April 28, 2016

      Agreed as far as Vivo are concerned. They’re also smart enough to be the main sponsors of the Indian Premier League this year. Sponsoring the national “religion” (Cricket) in the second largest phone market in the world means those numbers will only improve.

      • Twister12
        April 28, 2016

        Same with Oppo. In the Philippines they currently sponsors the ongoing basketball league where people watch it by millions.

    • balcobomber25
      April 29, 2016

      Not just in China either, they have a huge retail presence in a number of Asian countries. I live in Thailand half of the year and they are both in every single mall, phone market, hyper market etc.

  6. GodZillaa
    April 28, 2016

    “Mobile company proposes, market disposes.”
    – Godzilla, the phone critic.

  7. realjjj
    April 28, 2016

    in 1-2 years LG might drop out of top 10 , in Q1 they shipped 13.5 million units .Sony in Q1 shipped 3.4 million units.

  8. balcobomber25
    April 29, 2016

    It’s really not that surprising at all. What is more surprising is that at one time Xiaomi was ahead of OPPO. OPPO is in about 25 countries and has retail stores, Xioami is in 8 and is online only. Xiaomi also didn’t have the best year last year, they didn’t release a true flagship phone (most likely due to the SD810 issues) and had a complete dud with the Mi4i.

    • Angry Mobile Nerd
      April 29, 2016

      Xiaomi phones must be subliminally brainwashing it’s users because ever since you stopped using one as your main phone it seems your take on Xiaomi has changed for the worse and now you’re even echoing things I said months ago.

      • balcobomber25
        April 30, 2016

        I haven’t changed anything they’re still excellent phones for the money and have the best software in the industry

  9. ronal
    April 29, 2016

    If xioami managed to keep enuf stock in India for flash sales and providing flash sales after every three days not a week then they can achieve record number of sales but sadly they get out of stock mostly in India…

  10. V.K
    April 29, 2016

    Really impressive!
    I didn’t know oppo and vivo were so successfull brands!!!
    We have been always talking about xiaomi success so i was completely ignorant of that.
    It surely has to do something with marketing and distributor channels successfully exploited!
    Maybe someone living in China could enlightened us.
    Truly amazed!