• Strategy Analytics: China Smartphone Shipments Fell 11 Percent in Q4 2018

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Strategy Analytics: China Smartphone Shipments Fell 11 Percent in Q4 2018

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January 24, 2019

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BOSTON

China smartphone shipments fell 11 percent annually to reach 108 million units in Q4 2018. Huawei was the star performer and clear market leader, while Apple iPhone and Xiaomi lost ground.

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, China smartphone shipments tumbled 11 percent annually to reach 108 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018. Huawei was the star performer and clear market leader, while Apple and Xiaomi lost ground.

Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “China smartphone shipments declined 11 percent annually from 121.3 million units in Q4 2017 to 107.9 million in Q4 2018. The Chinese smartphone market is in recession and has declined for five consecutive quarters. The smartphone market is suffering from longer replacement cycles and weak consumer spending. Smartphone shipments declined 11 percent annually to hit 408.5 million during full-year 2018. The past year has been exceptionally tough and one the smartphone industry will want to forget.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Huawei shipped 30.0 million smartphones and captured a record 28 percent marketshare in China during Q4 2018. Huawei’s growth soared 23 percent annually and it is now the clear market leader. A strong product portfolio, famous brand and extensive retail channels were among the main success factors.”

Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “OPPO clung on to second place with 21 percent smartphone marketshare in China during Q4 2018. OPPO’s shipments fell 2 percent annually, but still grew faster than average. Huawei is piling pressure on OPPO in mid-tier and offline retail channels across major cities such as Shanghai. OPPO is trying to fight back, by targeting more online channels with improved models such as the K series. Vivo sits in third position with 21 percent marketshare and is very close to overtaking OPPO. Vivo’s 8 percent annual growth rate is bettered only by Huawei. Vivo is growing online with the Z series, and launching more premium models from its NEX range that aim to differentiate by tech innovation.”

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple overtook Xiaomi and nudged up to fourth position with 10 percent smartphone marketshare in China in Q4 2018. However, iPhone shipments dropped 22 percent annually and this was the firm’s worst performance since early 2017. Apple iPhone has now fallen on a year-over-year basis in China for 8 of the past 12 quarters. Apple has been under pressure in China for the past three years. Ongoing patent battles with Qualcomm are a distraction, while Apple is being heavily criticized for its expensive retail prices. Apple is in danger of pricing the iPhone out of China.”

Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Xiaomi slipped to fifth place and captured 9 percent marketshare in China during Q4 2018. Xiaomi’s strong growth in its home market has been halted and it slumped 35 percent annually. Xiaomi suffered from overstocked channel inventories, plus intensified competition from rivals Huawei and Vivo. The top five brands now account for an impressive 9 in 10 of all smartphones shipped in China. Many smaller vendors below the top five, like Meizu, are struggling to keep up and profits are diminishing.”

 

Exhibit 1: China Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2018 1

                 
China Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units)       Q4 '17     2017     Q4 '18     2018
Huawei 24.3 90.8 30.0 105.1
OPPO 22.8 86.6 22.4 82.8
Vivo 20.5 73.1 22.2 79.3
Xiaomi 15.5 52.7 10.0 50.0
Apple 14.0 36.7 10.9 34.2
Others       24.2     119.8     12.4     57.1
Total       121.3     459.6     107.9     408.5
 
China Smartphone Vendor Marketshare (%)       Q4 '17     2017     Q4 '18     2018
Huawei 20.0% 19.8% 27.8% 25.7%
OPPO 18.8% 18.8% 20.8% 20.3%
Vivo 16.9% 15.9% 20.6% 19.4%
Xiaomi 12.8% 11.5% 9.3% 12.2%
Apple 11.5% 8.0% 10.1% 8.4%
Others       20.0%     26.1%     11.5%     14.0%
Total       100.0%     100.0%     100.0%     100.0%
 
Source: Strategy Analytics
 

About Strategy Analytics:
Strategy Analytics is a global, independent research and consulting firm. The company is headquartered in Boston, USA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and China. Visit www.strategyanalytics.com for more information.

1 Numbers are rounded.

Contact:

Americas Contact:
Linda Sui / +1 617 614 0735 / LSui@strategyanalytics.com

EMEA Contact:
Neil Mawston / +44 1908 423 628 / NMawston@strategyanalytics.com

Asia Contacts:
Woody Oh / +44 1908 423 665 / WOh@strategyanalytics.com
Yiwen Wu / +44 1908 423 788 / YWu@strategyanalytics.com