The smartphone market continues to struggle in China, according to Counterpoint’s Market Pulse report. The sales reportedly decreased 14.2% year-on-year (YoY) in the second quarter of 2022. The quarter’s volumes were 12.6% lower than the level seen during the severe pandemic-hit Q1 2020, and less than half of the historical peak of Q4 2016. The last time the sales were below this point was nearly a decade ago in the Q4 2012, the year Apple launched iPhone 5.
Vivo leads the market
Vivo led the market during the quarter. “During the quarter, Vivo maintained its leadership. The mid-to-high-end S12 series helped Vivo grab a good share in the $250-$399 segment. Sub-brand iQOO also received positive market feedback, especially from younger customers,” as per the report.
Honor makes an impressive comeback
In terms of smartphone companies, Honor made an impressive comeback. “Honor continues its great comeback by expanding its offline presence,” said research analyst Mengmeng Zhang. With the lockdowns hitting major cities, its coverage in lower-tier cities, which saw fewer lockdowns, is said to have helped the brand steer through the turbulence in Q2 2022. The company managed to take shares from all the leading Chinese brands, including Huawei, during the quarter. Here Zhang also had a word of caution for Oppo and Vivo. “It is time for Oppo and Vivo, known as the “offline channel kings”, to take Honor seriously,” Zhang said.
Apple iPhone 13 magic continues
Apple too saw a comparatively good performance during the quarter. The sales of the iPhone 13 series continued to soar in the quarter.
Xiaomi ‘grapples’ with sluggish sales
Xiaomi saw a sales pick-up in June driven by models like the Redmi K50 and Note 11 series. “The increasing 5G penetration in China allows Xiaomi to tackle the shortage of 4G/LTE SoCs. But although its products can be seen on the shelves of more than 10,000 offline shops, Xiaomi is still grappling with sluggish sales,” said research analyst Archie Zhang .
Foldable phones allow Oppo and Vivo to take on Apple and Samsung
Apple and Samsung continue to lead the premium segment in the country. However, Oppo and Vivo are leveraging their newly launched foldables to increase premium segment share. “Major Chinese OEMs have not many options when it comes to penetrating the Apple-dominated premium segment. Foldable smartphone sales in the first half of 2022 have already surpassed that of 2021 with Huawei leading the segment, followed by Samsung and OPPO. We expect at at least 4-5 new foldable models to be launched in the second half of 2022,” senior analyst Ivan Lam said.