In the first quarter, China’s smartphone shipments slipped to 91 million units, which marks the biggest drop since 2013. From 2013 to 2018, phone shipments from China comfortably hit or exceeded the 100-million-mark every quarter.
It is the first time since the fourth quarter of 2014 that the shipments sank that low, according to the market analysts from Canalys. The group thinks that the drop was largely caused by the intense competition between smartphone makers.
Experts think China’s smartphone market is worn-out by companies’ aggressive marketing tactics and campaigns. Because of the competition, vendors are imitating one another when it comes to products and marketing strategies.
In other words, smartphone makers should refocus on innovation and the development of new features rather than spamming prospective buyers with copycat products and tiring ad campaigns.
China’s Smartphone Market Faces Downturn
The hardest hit by the lackluster sales were Oppo, Meizu, Samsung, and Vivo. Samsung and Meizu saw their smartphone sales plunge 50% from last year’s levels. Vivo’s sales sank to 15 million units, while Oppo’s sales slipped to 18 million. Each company saw a 10% drop in shipments in just one year.
Apple is the fifth on the list when it comes to the number of shipments.
Nevertheless, there were companies that thrived despite the losses. Xiaomi, for instance, grew its market share over the same time period. The Chinese phone maker’s shipments climbed to 12 million, which marks a 37% increase in just one year.
The secret to Xiaomi’s success may be its lineup of budget phones, which is much more varied than that of the competition. Xiaomi’s most popular budget handset is Redmi Note 5 Pro.
With a market share of 24%, Huawei was another winner since it managed to push the number of smartphone shipments by 2% to 21 million units, solidifying its leadership on the market.
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