The smartphone market in China is in flux and different analysts report slightly different details. Shipments for the first quarter of the year fell by 18% compared to Q1 2021, which Canalys attributes to a market correction after the “abnormal” first quarter of last year.
“There is usually a sequential decline in demand and production in Q1, though China’s smartphone market has been underperforming for nearly three years,” writes Canalys Analyst Amber Liu, so these results should not be surprising.
Analyst Toby Zhu warns smartphone makers to plan stock allocation carefully and to be prepared for store closures and logistics issues. The low-end market will be affected the most, so makers will have to focus on mid-range to high-end models.
Right now the component shortage is easing, which is why the analyst advise vendors to focus on improving their distribution channels and garnering customer loyalty. They should also maintain their supply chains and capacity allocations or else they may find themselves facing more shortages once consumer demand returns to normal.
Focusing on individual smartphone makers, Canalys reports that Honor is the biggest brand in China for the first time in its short history with 15 million shipments out of the 75.6 million total, making for a 20% market share, triple what it achieved a year ago.
Apple’s shipments rose too and now the iPhone maker is a step away from the second place. Oppo (including OnePlus) barely managed to hold on to second, but its sibling vivo didn’t fare as well and fell from first to fourth.
|People’s Republic of China (mainland) smartphone shipments and annual growth Canalys Smartphone Market Pulse: Q1 2022|
|Vendor||Q1 2022 shipments (million)||Q1 2022 market share||Q1 2021 shipments (million)||Q1 2021 market share||Annual growth|
|Notes: from Q1 2021, HONOR is not included in Huawei’s shipments; OnePlus is included in OPPO shipments; percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding
Source: Canalys Smartphone Analysis (sell-in shipments), April 2022