Huawei’s market share in China has halved in under a year

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Huawei’s European smartphone business has been in free fall ever since it stopped releasing new devices with Google service support. Now, the latest market data shows that this free fall has spread to China.

Huawei is no longer the largest smartphone brand in China

The manufacturers shipped a total of 90.7 million smartphones in China between January and March 2021. This is an increase from year to year of 36% for the period, although it is worth noting that Q1 2020 was affected by COVID-19.

Huawei has been the leading brand in China for some years, but its reign has finally ended. Last quarter, Huawei had a market share of 16% in China, down from a high level of over 30% in Q2 2020.

In the same quarter last year, Huawei also short surpassed Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone maker in volume and reached an internal target set before access to Google was revoked.

The recent U.S. trade sanctions, imposed in mid-September, appear to be the reason for Huawei’s dramatic drop from grace in its home country. The company has not been able to receive chips from TSMC or other suppliers since the sanctions came into force, so Huawei is now struggling to ship devices to customers and retailers.

Unless something changes, which is probably not given the current position of the Biden administration, Huawei may soon be forced to pause smartphone shipments altogether.

Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi absorb Huawei’s share

All this doom and gloom, however, has been good for Huawei’s rivals. Vivo is now the market leader in China with its share of shipments jumping from 17% a year ago to 24% in Q1 2021.

The company’s strategic camera partnership with ZEISS and the launch of flagship Vivo X60 series has boosted its image in China, according to Counterpoint researchreport.

Oppo followed close to Vivo with a market share of 23%. It has benefited greatly from both the demand for 5G smartphones and a successful relocation of its Reno series to offer more impressive hardware at lower price points.

Huawei is currently the third largest brand by volume, however Xiaomi is just behind in fourth place with a decent share of 15%. Nothing was highlighted about Xiaomi’s performance, but it has undoubtedly also benefited from the switch to 5G.

Apple once again completes the top 5, although this time the market share has gone from 9% in Q1 2020 to 13% in Q1 2021. These improved figures can be attributed The iPhone 12 series, which has been hugely successful in all regions. It is unclear whether the brand has benefited greatly from Huawei’s downfall.

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