Friday, May 5, 2017

IDC reports China smarphone sales up 1%

According to market research firm IDC in its latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 104.1 million smartphones were shipped to China in the first quarter of 2017, up 1% year on year, with the low growth in part due to the high inventory levels from the previous quarter.

IDC notes that the first quarter was also relatively quiet in terms of new products, with few launches aside from Huawei's new P10, P10 Plus and Honor V9, which combined with strong momentum for its Honor brand meant that Huawei reclaimed the top position by market share from OPPO.

The research firm finds that the top five smartphone companies have a dominant 70% share of the market, and predicts that this overall share will continue to increase, together with consolidation amongst the smaller companies, during the year. IDC does not expect any new smartphone companies to have a significant effect on the Chinese market.

In terms of vendor market share, for the first quarter IDC reports that Huawei led the China market with unit sales of 20.8 million and a share of 20.0%, up from 16.8% in the prior fourth quarter. OPPO was the second ranked supplier with sales of 18.9 million units and a share of 18.2%, up from 18.1% in the fourth quarter. The third placed vendor was vivo, with sales of 14.6 million units and a 14.1% share, down from 16.0% in the prior quarter.

The fifth ranked vendor was Apple with sales of 9.6 million units and a share of 9.2%, versus 11.0% in the fourth quarter, and Xiaomi was sixth with sales of 9.3 million units and a market share of 9.0%, compared with 7.4% in the prior quarter.

IDC notes that Android ASPs (average selling price) continued to increase, both sequentially and year on year, mainly due to the top Chinese smartphone companies Huawei, OPPO and vivo increasing their ASPs as consumers purchase flagship models. In addition, these key flagship models from Chinese suppliers offer upgraded specifications leading to higher prices. IDC cites Huawei's Honor 8, the OPPO R9s and vivo X9 as the most popular models from these companies in the quarter.

Commenting on the data, Tay Xiaohan, senior market analyst with the IDC Asia Pacific client devices team, said, "Despite a soft first quarter in China, the second quarter should pick up sequentially given not only's June promotions, but also activity around a number of new products such as vivo with its Y53, Xiaomi with its Mi 6, Meizu with its E2 and Gionee with its M6S Plus".

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