According to CINNO Research and Canalys, Huawei still comfortably leads the Chinese smartphone market. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) mobile phone quarterly tracking report, China’s smartphone market shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020 were approximately 86.4 million units, a slight increase of 0.3% year-on-year.
In the fourth quarter, shipments of Apple, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi all increased significantly. In terms of specific rankings in the fourth quarter, Huawei, Apple, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi ranked in the top five. Although Huawei fell 34.5% year-on-year, it still ranks first with a 25.1% share.
Looking at the entire 2020, Huawei is still miles ahead of the competition. It has a 38.3% market share which is a 0.1% decrease from its 38.4% market share of 2019. In second place is Vivo with a 17.7% market share. This shows that Huawei in the first position has a market share that is over 50% higher than second-place Vivo. Oppo, Xiaomi, and Apple rank third to fifth respectively. Except for Apple’s year-on-year growth, the other four manufacturers all have different degrees of decline.
In the fourth quarter, the Chinese 5G mobile phone shipments were about 60 million units. In 2020, the cumulative shipments were about 167 million units, accounting for more than 50%.
Huawei may not be able to hold its leading position
Huawei’s shipments in the fourth quarter shrank by nearly 50% year-on-year. The demand for Huawei’s products is still huge, Huawei may not be able to meet the demand in the future. Other leading manufacturers are targeting this opportunity. Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and others are seriously competing for Huawei’s offline channel in China.
Apple’s performance in China in 2020 will be significant. Driven by the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models, the annual shipment volume has finally returned to the level of 2018. The shipment volume in the fourth quarter even reached Apple’s number since 2015. Since the release of the iPhone 6S in the fourth quarter, it has the highest shipment record in the Chinese market.
The timing of Apple’s launch of the new iPhone 12 in China coincided with the time when Huawei was discontinuing the supply. Huawei is Apple’s only strong competitor in the high-end segment, and its flagship Mate series shipped less than 4 million units in the fourth quarter. However, Apple has not relaxed the market promotion of iPhone12, including launching online promotion activities on major e-commerce platforms across the country.