Nine of the world’s twelve most shipped smartphone manufacturers are headquartered in China, according to semiconductor market research firm IC Insights.

The company recently updated its 2018 IC Market Drivers Report in which it documented the applications fueling demand for integrated circuits (ICs). According to the report, Apple and Samsung still dominate the market for high-end smartphones (over $200). The two companies combined shipped over 530 million smartphones in 2017, controlling 36% of the market share.

While these two companies controlled the high-end range, their shipments saw little growth. However, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, coming in at third, fourth, fifth, and sixth on the list respectively, witnessed between a 10% and 73% increase in shipments.

Smartphone shipments by brand (Image Credit: IC Insights)

The combined shipments by OPPO and Vivo, both owned by BKK Electronics, fell short of Apple’s shipments by just 2.7 million units.  Chinese companies on the list shipped a total of 626 million smartphones in 2017, an 11% increase compared to 2016. They also controlled 42% of global smartphone shipments.

Nonetheless, Lenovo, ZTE, TCL, Gionee, and LeEco/Coolpad saw their shipments drop by up to a quarter.

Growth in shipments from Chinese manufacturers is being driven by the international market, with total shipments increasing by 47% in 2017, according to market research firm Newzoo. The company claims that India is a significant driving force behind the increasing demand, with the usage of Chinese-made devices rising by 225% between 2016 and 2017, and accounting for 37% of all smartphones in the country at the end of 2017.

While global shipments of Chinese smartphones are on the rise, local shipments are down. According to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) data, domestic shipments slumped by over 16% in the first-quarter of 2018 to 39 million handsets. Technology market research firm Canalys documented a similar trend, saying that eight of the county’s ten major manufacturers experienced declines in shipments. The firm attributed the decrease to rampant imitation resulting from competition in the market.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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