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Leaders consolidate position in China smartphone market

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Mobile 13.10.2017 / 15:40

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Huawei loses momentum in growth: together with its sub-brand Honor, Huawei held a 31.1% share; OPPO, Vivo and Apple realize sizable share gains.

The latest smartphone OS data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed that in the three months ending August, 2017, Huawei continued to lead China’s urban market: together with its sub-brand Honor, Huawei held a 31.1% share. But its growth was muted with only a 1.5-percentage point gain year on year.

OPPO and Vivo brands, both direct off-springs of Guangdong-based BBK Electronics, together held No. 2 spot with a combined 19.7% share, up 6.7 percentage points year on year.

Apple maintained its return to growth in the world’s largest smartphone market with its share moving up to 17.7% from 13.4% a year earlier. The flagship iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were the two top-selling models in urban China during the period.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech carries out monthly panel surveys among Chinese urban mobile phone users to monitor the market share changes of various brands. In China, the panel size is 22,000. Panellists were recruited from tier-1 to 5 cities and each year more than 260,000 surveys were conducted. The nature of the research methodology means it can cover the influence of smartphones sold in other countries ended up in China and avoid the confusion caused by unsold phones stocked at warehouses of distributors.

In addition to China, iOS posted growth in the United States, Germany, France, and Spain, but performance in Great Britain dropped.

Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: “Samsung took full advantage of the weeks just before the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released in Great Britain, with significant promotional activity that helped drive its overall share to a three-year high of 38.4% for the three months ending August 2017.

“More than one in four Galaxy S8 buyers cited a specific promotion as a key purchase influencer, and almost half said that a good deal on the price of the phone was key to their purchase. Both of these metrics experienced a large increase over the last two months of the period,” he explained.

Due to Samsung’s recovery in UK, consolidated market share for iOS in Europe’s five largest markets was up by only 1.2 percentage points year on year. Samsung boosted Android’s growth in Great Britain with the Galaxy S8 and J3 (2016) selling well, while Apple’s flagship models lost momentum in the run up to the new iPhone announcement, offset slightly by strong sales of the iPhone SE.

In the US, Samsung and Apple sales shares for the three months ending in August were virtually tied at 35.2% and 35.0% respectively.

“Apple maintained strong momentum in the US one month before the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and grew its sales share by +3.7 percentage points year-on-year, compared to Samsung’s growth of +0.8 percentage points,” Dominic added. “Weaker sales through Verizon hurt Samsung as Apple approached a 50% share within the largest US carrier – an even higher proportion than at AT&T, a traditional iPhone stronghold.”

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Editor's notes

* About Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s Smartphone OS Market Share Data

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s smartphone OS market share data provides the media and businesses with access to the most up-to-date sales and market share figures for the major smartphone operating systems.

This information is based on research extracted from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer panel. ComTech is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behaviour – including phone purchases, bills/airtime, source of purchase, and usage. It also delivers additional data to promote an understanding of the drivers of share changes, and consumer insight market dynamics. All consumer data in this release excludes enterprise sales.

For more information, please visit: https://www.kantarworldpanel.com/global/Consumer-Panels/Telecoms

* To know more information, data and analysis of global and China's mobile market, please contact us.

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