China smartphone market drops 14.3% in Q3 2020, Huawei leads

The China smartphone market witnessed a 14.3 per cent drop in the third quarter this year with 84.8 million units shipment, according to an IDC report, as the country faced soft demand, Huaweis supply constraints and delayed flagship launches from both Huawei and Apple.

At the top of the table with 41.4 per cent share, Huawei cautiously managed its shipments across its product lineups and lowered the production of some popular models like the Mate 30 series.

Its channel management and prioritisation also resulted in a supply shortage in the lower-tier cities, delaying purchases from loyal customers, said IDC ‘Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker’.

“The escalated US trade restrictions in August ultimately impeded Huawei’s momentum in its home market. Nevertheless, the ban did not cool off the enthusiasm of local Huawei loyalists that supported Huawei’s market share to stay above the 40 per cent mark,” said Will Wong, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

At a distant second position with 17.8 per cent market share, Vivo put more focus on various consumer segments at different price points and recorded a narrower decline from a year ago.

The vendor continued to penetrate the less than $300 segment with the 5G-enabled Y-series while enhancing its positions in the mid-range and high-end segments with the new S7 and iQOO 5 series as well as the X series flagship.

OPPO at third position with 16.6 per cent market share narrowed its decline from a year ago by focusing on the $200-400 5G segment.

Xiaomi was at fourth position with 13 per cent marlet share. And Apple fifth with 8.3 per cent market share in China.

Apple’s delayed iPhone 12 launch resulted in lower shipments compared to the same period last year.

“Nevertheless, Apple managed to mitigate the shortfall with its iPhone 11 series, as the models still performed well in both online and offline channels and will continue to be promoted in the upcoming Singles’ Day shopping festival,” the report noted.

China has so far shipped a total of 117 million 5G handsets since 2019, with 49.7 million in Q3 2020 alone.