Xiaomi bucks trend as China smartphone market dips

Xiaomi was the bright spark in a sea of red as China’s smartphone market slid 14.3 percent year-on-year in Q3, according to IDC.

With a 13 percent share, it opened up the gap between Apple at fifth spot, while narrowing the margin with Oppo which is just 3.6 percent ahead in third place.

Xiaomi’s success is due to the Redmi 9 and K30 series, which were well-received, especially in the higher-tier cities. Its new mid-range and high-end models also garnered a favorable word-of-mouth effect and the company sped up its offline channel expansion to support its growth.

Huawei remained top with 41.4 pecent share, marginally lower than last year. It cautiously managed its shipments across its product lineups and lowered the production of some popular models such as the Mate 30 series. Channel management and prioritisation also resulted in a supply shortage in lower-tier cities, delaying purchases from loyal customers.

Vivo kept its second position by putting more focus on various consumer segments at different price points.

A total of 84.8 million smartphones were shipped in China in Q3, mainly due to soft demand, Huawei’s supply constraints, and delayed flagship launches from both Huawei and Apple.

“The escalated US trade restrictions in August ultimately impeded Huawei’s momentum in its home market. Nevertheless, the ban did not cool off the enthusiasm of local Huawei loyalists that supported Huawei’s market share to stay above the 40 percent mark,” said Will Wong, Research Manager of Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.