According to GSMArena, it was the result of two factors: the rise of Oppo and the decline of Huawei. Specifically, in January 2021, Oppo accounted for 21% of the Chinese market and led the market share. The Vivo brand and Huawei are second with 20%. The next positions belong to Apple and Xiaomi at 16%. Compared to December 2020, the Oppo market share increased by 33%, while it increased by 25% compared to January 2020.
Counterpoint says 5G smartphones are the main growth engine for Chinese manufacturers. In the final quarter of 2020, 5G smartphone sales accounted for 65% of all smartphone sales in China. This also explains Huawei’s decline.
Huawei may supply 4G chips, but for 5G phones, they have to rely on the chips they stockpile before the trade restrictions go into effect. So Huawei shifted its focus to the high-end market, where margins are higher but sales are lower.
This creates an opportunity for Oppo to capture the market that Huawei left behind. Analysts point out that the mid-range Reno5 and the affordable A series have both brought success to Oppo. Both of these product lines have 5G models with different price points.
Huawei’s decline also benefits Xiaomi. Interestingly, Xiaomi and its BBK sub-brands are moving on different fronts, with Xiaomi delving into Huawei’s online business, and Oppo and Vivo doing well on the traditional sales front.
In addition, the sale of Honor’s division also caused Huawei’s market share to drop sharply. Previously, analysts tracked the combined sales between Huawei and Honor.