Oppo Was the No. 1 Brand in India in Hybrid-Zoom Capability in Q2 and Q3 2019

Consumers are increasingly documenting their lives on social media platforms and the quality of the smartphone camera is central to this. Smartphone camera innovation is a core focus for manufacturers. In a market where differentiation is difficult to achieve, the camera function is a visible signal of the device’s sophistication. Even mid-range handsets now boast camera capability that surpasses that of flagship devices of only a few years ago. And the rate of innovation continues to escalate at a fast pace.

According to a Counterpoint Research Consumer Lens study, a better camera is among the top three most important features in determining future smartphone selection. Longer battery life and better processor are the other two most desired features. Moreover, people’s willingness to pay extra for more lenses in the primary camera justifies the growing importance of the smartphone camera.

Exhibit I: Feature preference in future smartphone purchases

Counterpoint Consumer Lens Study: Feature preference in future smartphone purchases

Source: Counterpoint Research Consumer Lens Study

The first smartphone quad-camera set up in India was launched by Samsung in 2018. It was further popularized by Realme, Xiaomi, and Oppo from mid-2019. Oppo was the leading quad-camera brand in the offline channel with a 45% shipment share in 2019. Oppo maximized its coverage in the mid-range price band with the A5 2020 series in Q4 2019. While the Oppo Reno 2Z, Reno 2F increased Oppo’s presence in the premium category. Strong festive season shipments helped Oppo to lead in the quad-camera segment with 34% shipment share in October 2019. Oppo’s quad-camera shipments grew almost 6x quarter-on-quarter in Q4 2019, the highest growth in this segment.

Additionally, a camera capable of achieving optical and hybrid zoom is another important feature for consumers. More than half of the survey respondents were positive about smartphone cameras with improved zoom capability. Furthermore, one in three consumers would be willing to pay extra for a better zoom camera.

In India, the popularization of hybrid zooms started with Oppo Reno 10X Zoom in 3Q 2019. It was the first smartphone to introduce a 6x optical zoom with a 10x hybrid zoom and a maximum zoom capability of 60x. Among all manufacturers, only Huawei and Oppo had products capable of 50x or greater zoom capability in 2019. Though the overall volume in this segment is small, Oppo led with a nine to one ratio in shipment volume share and about 97% share in the offline segment during 2019.

Camera innovations like multiple camera arrays and AI-based software optimization have made a significant impact on smartphone photography. The manufacturers are riding on this trend to bring power-packed camera features to India, which has now established itself as the second-largest smartphone market globally. Oppo has showcased its leadership in smartphone camera innovation, with the brand committed to launching new smart devices in India in the coming year.


Counterpoint Research conducted a Consumer Lens (sponsored study by a client), which highlights the importance of the camera in smartphone purchase decisions. 

Despite a China Market Decline, Huawei Reaches 25% Market Share in 2018

Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, San Diego, Buenos Aires, London, New Delhi –

Jan 28th, 2019

  • Sales volume fell by more than 10% in the fourth quarter and in 2018.
  • Huawei (including Honor) has maintained high-speed growth with a run of hit products.
  • Oppo, vivo and Xiaomi sales fluctuated in 2018, but are still ahead of the overall market.
  • Nokia and China Mobile are the highlights of the second-tier brands.

According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse service, China’s overall smartphone sales volume declined 11% YoY in 2018. As the world’s largest smartphone market, it has declined for two consecutive years.

Commenting on the performance of the overall market, James Yan, Research Director said, “The sharp YoY decline in 2018 can be attributed to the generally lengthened upgrade cycle of consumers and increases in ASP. The reason behind this is the weakness of China’s economy, especially private enterprises. The Chinese economy is transitioning from an external, export-led economy to one where internal consumption plays a bigger role. In addition, China faces many uncertainties brought about by the trade war between China and the United States. With a weakened economy, Chinese consumers have become more pragmatic and are less likely to frequently change their smartphones.”

James Yan further added, “In such a downturn in China’s smartphone market as a whole, OEMs tried to compete through innovative technologies such as water drop screens, under-display fingerprint sensors and 3D face recognition technologies. But the result was little overall change in the competitive landscape; the top five OEM rankings in 2018 were the same as in 2017, though consolidation has occurred. The combined market share of the top five OEMs increased from 75% in 2017 to 84% in 2018, with some smaller brands having withdrawn from the market.”

Exhibit 1: China Smartphone Market Share Full Year 2018 and Q4 2018

China Smartphone Market Share Full Year 2018

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Pulse

China Smartphone Market Share Q4 2018

Source: Counterpoint Research Market Pulse

Commenting on the future development trend, Mengmeng Zhang, Research Analyst at Counterpoint, said, “Looking ahead, we expect that tier one brands will consolidate their position further through multi-channel and diversified product strategies, and strive to expand their product lines beyond mobile phones, i.e. smart watches, smart TV and so on. For small brands, it has become more and more difficult to survive. They have to find a more niche market to meet customer preferences, for example gaming phones and luxury mobile phones.”

Flora Tang, Research Analyst at Counterpoint, highlighting the significant growth achieved by Huawei, pointed out, “Huawei’s long-term R&D efforts have paid off successfully in its development and integration of cutting-edge technology products. Huawei and Honor are winning the trust of Chinese consumers based on the fact that its marketing team has shaped Huawei and Honor into technology-rich brands that are deeply embedded in consumers minds”.

Key takeaways for the China market in 4Q18 and 2018:

  • The Market:
    • The China smartphone market declined by 12% YoY in 4Q 2018 and declined by 11% for the full year 2018.
    • We see continued consolidation in the Chinese market, with the top five OEMs accounting for 84 percent of the smartphone market in 2018, compared to 75 percent in the same period last year.
    • Huawei (including Honor) was firmly the market leader in China in 2018, capturing 25% market share. We saw outstanding contributions from the Nova series in 2018.
    • OPPO and vivo’s market share did not change much compared to 2017, but their sales have declined slightly.
    • Apple’s volume dropped 12% YoY due to its high-ticket price and impact from competitors. But it still has the highest sales revenue among all brands.
    • Xiaomi held a 12% market share in 2018, but sales fell 7% YoY.
    • Among many small brands, China Mobile and Nokia brands relied on localized channels to achieve good performance in 2018.
  • The Technologies:
    • New technologies such as bezel-less displays (water-drop or notch screen), AI-powered processors and dual cameras have penetrated into mid to low-end models. The competition in China was increasingly fierce in 2018.
    • Players invested more resources to optimize mobile camera functions, such as night-time shots and wide-angle shots.
    • Voice assistant has been adopted by mainstream players, including Xiaomi’s “Xiao Ai”, Huawei’s “Xiao Yi”, OPPO‘s Breeno and vivo’s “Jovi”.
    • 3D face recognition technologies entered the high-end market at the end of 2018.

The comprehensive and in-depth Q4 2018 Market Pulse is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at press(at) for further questions regarding our in-depth, latest research, insights or press enquiries.

The Market Pulse research is based on sell-through estimates based on vendor’s IR results, vendor polling triangulated with supply chain checks and secondary research.

Analyst Contacts:

James Yan闫占

+86 15810182576

Tarun Pathak
+91 9971213665

Mengmeng Zhang

+86 18611804269

Flora Tang

+852 5545 2529

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