China’s smartphone sales rebounded during the mid-year 618 (June 18) shopping festival, rising 7% YoY according to Counterpoint data. The increase came after the world’s biggest smartphone market posted two consecutive monthly YoY declines. However, the market is still left with a mixed picture for the year-end outlook.
vivo took the first spot during the first three weeks of June, making up 23% of the smartphone sales of the top eight OEMs, according to Counterpoint’s smartphone tracker. The second and third spots went to OPPO (21%) and Xiaomi (19%).
Exhibit 1: Top 8 OEMs’ Market Share During First Three Weeks of June
The three biggest smartphone brands have all benefited from the retreat of Huawei and HONOR, which were first and second bestsellers in 2020. The two companies’ smartphone sales plummeted 68% and 49% respectively this year due to the difficulties faced by them in sourcing components. However, HONOR’s performance has improved after separating from Huawei. Its sales in the first three weeks of June increased more than 15% when compared to the first three weeks of May. HONOR will likely sustain the current growth momentum in China as the brand is still popular among the customers there.
Exhibit 2: OEMs Share Changes in China Smartphone Market During First Three Weeks of June, 2021 vs 2020
This is Apple’s second year of participation in the shopping festival. The company’s sales increased 16% YoY during this edition, taking it to the fourth spot driven by strong promotion activities. The iPhone12, for instance, was being offered by China’s major online retailers at discounts of more than RMB1000 ($155).
realme turned in an eye-catching figure. The company’s smartphone sales increased more than tenfold from last year, the biggest jump among the top phone brands. For this year’s 618 shopping festival, realme not only offered various discounts but also introduced the Q3 Pro Carnival Edition.
Even though the market rebounded in June after seeing two months of declines, it is still a mixed picture for the full-year outlook. OEMs, especially OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi, will continue to aggressively target the void left by Huawei. For the mass-market segment, OEMs could potentially see another reshuffle in the second half as HONOR is making a strong comeback after sorting out the component issue.
*Disclaimer: The updated graphic reflects the top OEMs’ market shares of the total market sum. The older graphics were each top OEMs’ market share of the sum of their sales.