China’s homegrown smartphone brands are continuing to overshadow their international peers on domestic turf. Huawei has topped domestic mobile phone sales for several consecutive quarters so there is not much news there. However, the new Jiguang report shows that OPPO has been steadily gaining popularity. The top five phones in China for Q1 2017 were Huawei, OPPO, iPhone, Vivo, and Xiaomi.

Huawei and OPPO have a market retention rate of 20.8% and 18.5% respectively, followed by iPhone with 18.2%. Vivo and Xiaomi took third and fourth place respectively. Huawei and OPPO have been rising in popularity for the past five quarters. Jiguang’s “Q1 2018 Smartphone Industry Research Report” (in Chinese) also shows that Xiaomi’s phones have been increasing their market share for three consecutive quarters ahead of their IPO.

Top smartphones in China in Q 2018 according to retention rate (Image credit: Jiguang)

Sales statistics show iPhone’s declining popularity. Huawei held more than a 25% of sales in Q1 2017 followed by Oppo and Vivo. Huawei has been increasing its sales steadily for the past five quarters. Data also showed that the iPhone users’ loyalty is currently at 63.4%, meaning that more than 60% of the users continued to use iPhone in Q1 of 2018.

Top smartphones in China in Q1 2018 according to sales (Image credit: Jiguang)
Top smartphones in China from Q1 2017 to Q1 2018 (Image credit: Jiguang)

The report demonstrated that geography still has an influence on what kind of phones you buy. Almost 50% of iPhone users come from China’s 1st-tier cities, while the bulk of OPPO and Vivo users are located in 3rd-tier cities and below. For Huawei and Xiaomi, the distribution of users is relatively equal.

The results are not surprising since OPPO and Vivo (OV) are following a similar pattern that led Xiaomi to its success: offering good quality phones for cheap to users with lower income. The OV tandem has also been heavily investing in cameras, but unlike Huawei which has moved towards high-end gear with a collaboration with Leica, OPPO and Vivo have been working on improving their selfie-taking magic.

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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