Huawei still comfortably leads the Chinese smartphone market

chinese smartphones

CINNO Research recently released an analysis report and outlook on the Chinese smartphone market. The report shows that in 2020, the sales of smartphones in the Chinese market hit 307 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 21%. This is the fourth consecutive year of decline in the Chinese smartphone market. In 2020, the top three manufacturers in the Chinese smartphone market are Huawei (including Honor)Vivo (including IQOO), and Oppo. The total sales of the three companies account for 70% of the Chinese smartphone market.


Xiaomi and Apple follow closely in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Samsung will have to make do with the sixth position. The market share ranking in 2020 is similar to 2019. However, there is still an overall decline in the sales of Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo. On the other hand, Xiaomi and Apple recorded massive growths. 

In terms of brands, Huawei (including Honor) sold 114 million smartphones. Affected by the US ban, Huawei’s total sales dropped by 24%, but it still ranks No. 1 in smartphone sales in China in 2020, with a market share of 37%.


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The sales of Vivo (including IQOO) and Oppo smartphones were 52.27 million and 47.84 million respectively. This is a year-on-year decrease of 24% and 25% respectively. Their market shares were 17% and 15.6% respectively. 

Xiaomi’s smartphone sales volume was approximately 37.82 million, with a market share of 12.3%. This is also a year-on-year increase of 1.6%. In the second half of 2020, Xiaomi’s performance was particularly strong, with sales increasing 23% year-on-year against the trend, of which Redmi sales increased by 37% year-on-year. Xiaomi put up a strong competition with its Redmi 10X and K30 series. 

Apple’s smartphone sales were about 37.51 million units, slightly lower than Xiaomi’s ranking fifth, with a year-on-year increase of 9%. Its sales volume records the only positive year-on-year growth among the top 5 brands. It has a market share of 12.2%, a year-on-year increase of 3.3%. Recall that Apple did a lot of promotions and price cuts/discounts with the iPhone 11 series in China. This is the result of all its discounts. 

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Predictions for the Chinese smartphone market

CINNO Research also believes that the penetration rate of 5G smartphones in the Chinese market will reach 96% in 2024. In 2020, 5G smartphones account for 41% of the total smartphone sales. This is a 38% year-on-year increase. 

In terms of screen refresh rate, the proportion of sales of smartphones with 90Hz + screen refresh rate in the Chinese market in 2020 will increase from 1% in 2019 to 20%, a year-on-year increase of 19%. High refresh rates screen is increasingly favored by the market. Smartphones with 90Hz and 120Hz displays now dominate the market. They account for 11% and 7% respectively. CINNO Research also predicts a 2% increase in smartphones with 144Hz display this year. Furthermore, its predictions also show that non-glass rear phones will reduce significantly this year.

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