Among the Chinese buyers who plan to buy new mobile phones in the next six months, 70% are willing to buy new smartphone brands with good reviews and appropriate price, according to a survey by Strategy Analytics released in June 2021.
The survey’s key findings include:
- 35% of high-end smartphone users will change their phones in the next six months.
- 5G is a must, and 90% of users want their next smartphone to be 5G.
- Only half of the Chinese smartphone users agree that their current smartphones can meet almost all their needs. Apple is clearly the leader in this area.
- The repeat purchase intention of Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi in China is 17-21 percentage points lower than that of Apple.
In a series of consumer electronic products and services, Chinese consumers have the lowest loyalty to brands, and smartphones are no exception, according to Strategy Analytics.
70% of the respondents who plan to buy high-end equipment in the next six months will consider trying a new brand. It’s hard to win customers for the first time, but it’s more challenging to retain them.
China is one of the largest and most unstable smartphone markets in the world. China’s smartphone replacement cycle is still one of the shortest in the world, and 40% of people bought a brand new smartphone less than nine months ago.
Mobile phone shipments in China
In Q1 2021, the total shipment of China’s domestic mobile phone market was 97.973 million, an increase of 100.1% year-on-year. 41 new phone models were released in China in March, up 32.3% year on year.
From January to March, 122 new models were listed, up 48.8% year on year, according to data from China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.
The shipment of 5G mobile phones was 69.846 million in Q1; and 64 new models were listed, accounting for 71.3% and 52.5% respectively.
The total shipment volume of domestic brand mobile phones was 86.672 million units, a year-on-year increase of 101.3%, accounting for 88% of mobile phone shipments in the same period. There were 115 new models launched on the market, with a year-on-year increase of 62%, accounting for 94% of all new models launched。
In Q1, the shipment of smartphones in China was 96.182 million units, a year-on-year increase of 101.5%, accounting for 98.2% of the total shipment of mobile phones in the same period.
There were 98 new smartphone models released on the market in Q1, a year-on-year increase of 44.1%, accounting for 80.3% of the total.
Only half of the Chinese smartphone users agree that their current smartphones can meet almost all their needs.
China Smartphone Market Share
Huawei lost its crown to Vivo, which recorded 79% year-on-year growth, shipping 21.6 million units with 23% China smartphone market share according to Canalys. Oppo chased Vivo as a close runner-up, with 20.6 million shipments and 22% market share.
Huawei, which has divested Honor, slipped to third place with 14.9 million units shipped and 16% market share in Q1 2021 (Honor took sixth place with nearly five million units).
Xiaomi and Apple were number four and five, with 13.5 million units (15% market share) and 12.0 million units (13% market share) in Q1 2021, respectively.
For Q4 2020, Huawei smartphone shipment totaled 21.7 million units, with its market share declining to 25.1% from 38.5% in Q3 2020.
Oppo rose rapidly into second place, shipping 16.7 million smartphones, growing 19.3% year-on-year. Vivo also showed strong year-on-year growth at 15.4%, and came in third at 17.8 million units.
Apple also reported its best performance in China in recent years, shipping more than 16.7 million units in Q4, with 19.3% market share, up from 14.4% in Q4 2019. Apple recorded its highest quarterly shipments in China since Q4 2015 when iPhone 6S was launched.
Xiaomi shipped 11.8 million units, growing 48% year-on-year.
China smartphone shipment in 2020
In 2020, Huawei has the largest market share of 38.3% by total smartphone shipments. Apple’s market share increased to 11.1% from 8.9% in 2019. Check out global smartphone shipment in 2020 here.
Xiaomi’s 2020 performance was mainly supported by its well-positioned product lineups and its offline penetration in the lower-tier cities, which resulted in more than 29% YoY growth in the second half of the year.
In the fourth quarter, the domestic 5G mobile phone shipments were about 60 million units, and the cumulative shipments for the whole year of 2020 were about 167 million units, accounting for more than 50%, according to data from IDC.
MediaTek was the largest 5G processor supplier in Q4 2020, with its products covering the mainstream and mid-range price bands, meeting the demand in the <US$300 5G segment.
Apple’s 5G processor ranked second with the support of the iPhone 12 series, followed by Qualcomm, Huawei Hisilicon, and Samsung, while Unisoc also gained a higher share, according to IDC.
Get an overview of China’s mobile apps market here.