You can never predict the nature of a market, particularly that of mobile phones. Just when you thought Xiaomi is one of the best companies out of China having made a mark all over the world, it has lost its leading position in China itself. According to a report by IDC, Huawei emerged as the top smartphone company in China followed by Oppo and Vivo.
Yes, that’s right. Xaiomi, once known as China’s Apple not only lost its lead but fell to the fourth position. It witnessed a 38% decrease in shipments from 17.1 million last quarter to 10.5 million. It saw its market share fell down from 16.1% last year during the same period to 9.5% this year.
On the other hand, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo together accounted for 47% smartphone market in China in the second quarter. They now have a share of 17.2%, 16.2%, and 13.2 % respectively in China.
Huawei has always been a strong competitor of Xaiomi. However, what is interesting is the rise of companies like Oppo and Vivo over Xaiomi.
The IDC report attributed their success to offline channels, focussed marketing messages, and aggressive marketing tactics involving expensive celebrity endorsements.
“The success of Huawei, OPPO, and vivo in the market can be attributed to their concerted effort to build their brand and aggressive marketing to attract the consumers, along with the focus on product differentiation,”
said Xiaohan Tay, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices Research, IDC Asia/Pacific.
Particularly Oppo and Vivo have shown a strong presence due to their offline presence. Reportedly they are present in most of the Tier 3 to Tier 5 cities in China.
Huawei and Oppo also relied on strong marketing communicating their key messages. For instance, Oppo heavily advertised its fast-charge technology along with its famous tagline ‘charge for 5 minutes to be able to talk on the phone for 2 hours’.
The rise of domestic companies once again has put original Apple in a tough spot. Like its global slowdown in sales, Apple continued to show lacklustre performance in the Chinese market as well.
It occupied the 5th position behind Xaiomi. Its market share further fell down from 11.9% to 7.8% as it shipped 8.6 million smartphones as compared to 12.6 million during the same period last year. Apple also suffered due to the failure of iPhone SE in China largely due to its smaller screen size which is not that popular among Chinese people.
One cannot deny the saturation in Chinese smartphone market as well as globally. However, IDC report suggests that innovative marketing tactics are going to play an important role for companies to sell their products. This is even more crucial because these products now have little to differentiate themselves in terms of features.