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“For Huawei, the bulk of the growth was driven by its sub-brand Honor which contributed to more than 60 per cent of its shipments during the year,” James Yan, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, said in a statement. “This made Huawei’s Honor brand the number one smartphone brand in online channels in China ahead of Xiaomi, during the full year,” Yan added.
Meanwhile, the overall Chinese smartphone shipments slowed down in 2017, with close to 468 million smartphones shipped. OPPO and Vivo were the second and third largest brands in China in the fourth quarter and for the entire year, they captured a combined more than a third of the smartphone market. For 2017, OPPO and Vivo were able to grow faster than the overall market and increased their market share to 18 percent and 17 percent respectively.
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However, the quarter saw OPPO and Vivo’s growth slowing down considerably, while Xiaomi, at fourth position, made a strong comeback with a more focused portfolio and aggressive channel expansion strategy beyond online channels to rekindle demand in its home market. Xiaomi’s market share jumped to 14 percent and the company was the fastest growing brand (over 31 percent YoY) during the quarter. This helped Xiaomi to grow its annual market share to 12 percent, inching past Apple.
Apple’s market share in China dropped for the first half of 2017 but started picking up during the second half of 2017. “China saw some strong traction for the iPhone X demand in December but still lower than expected, mostly due to supply issues or the high price. The Chinese holiday season in Q1 2018 will be a critical period, setting the tone for the vendor’s full-year outlook,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint.
According to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service, smartphone shipments in China were down one percent annually in 2017, however, the sell-through was up five percent annually.
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