Smartphone sale hit a record 117.3 million in China in Q4. This represents an eight percent growth compared to the same period last year.
The phenomenal increase was partly driven by China’s annual singles day online shopping festival in November and Huawei’s strong shipments in the quarter. China’s Q4 growth boosted the calendar year 2015 growth to three percent.
“Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple are the top smartphone players in 2015. This is a stark contrast to the top players in 2013, which was Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad – with Samsung clearly dominating other players. With operators reducing smartphone subsidy and given the volatility of consumers’ brand preference in the market, the smartphone scene has changed significantly since then,” said Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst of IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.
“Xiaomi entered the market at a time when the China smartphone market was still growing, and was able to capture a significant market share with its disruptive sales model. Huawei, with its investments in R&D, strong products, branding and channel connections, saw it having significant growth in 2015. Apple, on the other hand, continues to be a strong and desirable brand in the eyes of the Chinese consumers. With the Chinese market now slowing down, it is unlikely that we will see any new players making a big impact on the smartphone market compared to the way Xiaomi did in the previous years,” she added.
Huawei was the biggest winner with both the biggest gain in average selling prices (ASPs) and shipment growth, as it saw its key flagship product, the Ascend Mate 7 selling well in 2015. With Huawei having an increasing number of flagships and phone shipments in the US$200<us$500 price=”” range,=”” it=”” has=”” impacted=”” the=”” shipments=”” of=”” samsung=”” for=”” both=”” its=”” mid-range=”” and=”” high-end=”” phones.=”” being=”” a=”” strong=”” brand=”” in=”” prc=”” market,=”” will=”” continue=”” to=”” impact=”” samsung’s=”” as=”” increases=”” <span=”” class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”its ” data-mce-bogus=”1″>ASPs in the market. While OPPO had a decline in ASPs, its ASP was still higher than that of Huawei, with its R7 doing well in 2015. Despite being the top smartphone vendor for China in 2015, Xiaomi’s ASP was the lowest among the top five vendors, with growth mostly coming from its low-end Redmi models.
“IDC expects the smartphone growth in China to be flat in 2016, and this is largely due to the maturing market rather than the slowing economy. Despite the economic headwinds, we expect major vendors such as Apple and Huawei to continue to do well in 2016 as consumers seek more sophisticated products,” noted Tay.