Domestic brands beat Apple again in China’s smartphone market this year

2 min read

On Tuesday, Umeng.com (友盟+) released a report on China’s smartphone market that reveals Oppo and Vivo, along with Huawei and its sub-brand Honor, dominated the domestic field from January through August of this year.

Apple wasn’t left entirely in the dust but the next-best foreign competitor, Samsung, didn’t make much of an impression in the rankings. According to Umeng’s chart of the top six smartphone brands, Oppo and Vivo were nearly head-to-head with 20.7% and 20.1% of the market, respectively.

Apple follows with a respectable 14.2%, trailed by Huawei. However, if Huawei and its ranking sub-brand Honor are combined, they beat out all other competitors with 22.6% of China’s smartphone market.

Together the top 6 brands took up a large majority of the entire market, fluctuating between a low of 82.6% and a high of 89.6%.

Image credit: Umeng.com

Umeng also ranked brands in order of new users, user retention, and a “competitiveness” measure based on the two previous values.

While Oppo and Vivo proved the strongest in attracting new users, Apple still outranked all other players in terms of user retention, despite a drop from last year. That gave it a boost in the competitiveness chart, where its 79.9 rating fell not far behind Vivo and Oppo.

Image credit: Umeng.com

Huawei, Xiaomi and Honor made up the next tier of top-rankers, while 360 vied with OnePlus, Smartisan, and Meizu (in that order) in the third tier.

In terms of the “competitiveness rating” of individual phone series, Vivo’s X and Oppo’s R ranked the highest, followed by the iPhone 7 line. Huawei and Xiaomi series performed similarly, lagged by Honor and in last place, Meizu.

Image credit: Umeng.com

In the overall market, Umeng reported that new smartphone prices fell mostly in the under-RMB 3,000 range, although RMB4,000-5,000 and under-RMB 1,000 saw new growth.

Not-so-surprisingly, phones and screens in the domestic market have continued to grow in size. Over one-half of new phones from January through August are 5.6 inches or bigger, while some 79% had screens that took up over 70% of the phone body.

Image credit: Umeng.com

And finally, new phones have seen an upgrade in features despite overall “sluggish” growth. Demand for NFC is gradually growing in first-tier cities. Front-facing cameras are now higher-quality than before, most likely reflecting the demand for better-looking selfies.