01 Feb 2021

China's Smartphone Market Was Relatively Flat in 4Q20, with 5G Driving More Than Two-Thirds of Volumes, IDC Reports

BEIJING, February 02nd, 2021 – According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 86.4 million smartphones were shipped in China in 2020Q4, a relatively flat growth from a year ago as almost all of the top five vendors recorded a favorable growth – with the exception being Huawei. Nevertheless, the 2020 market still saw a 11.2% decline year-on-year with 325.7 million shipments.

China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, Q4 2020 (shipments in millions)

Company

2020Q4 Shipments

2020Q4 Market Share

2019Q4 Shipments

2019Q4 Market Share

YOY Growth

1. Huawei

21.7

25.1%

33.1

38.5%

-34.5%

2. Apple

16.7

19.3%

12.4

14.4%

34.7%

3. OPPO

16.7

19.3%

14.1

16.3%

18.3%

4. vivo

15.4

17.8%

14.1

16.4%

9.2%

5. Xiaomi

11.8

13.7%

8.0

9.3%

48.0%

Others

4.1

4.8%

4.4

5.1%

-6.9%

Total

86.4

100.0%

86.2

100.0%

0.3%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2020Q4

Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change

*All figures are rounded off

“Huawei’s market share dropped below the 30% mark for the first time since it encountered the US trade restrictions. The decline indicates a good opportunity for its competitors in the year ahead, but it’s also expected to intensify the competition,” says Will Wong, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, 2020 (shipments in millions)

Company

2020 Shipments

2020 Market Share

2019 Shipments

2019 Market Share

YOY Growth

1. Huawei

124.9

38.3%

140.6

38.4%

-11.2%

2. vivo

57.5

17.7%

66.5

18.1%

-13.5%

3. OPPO

56.7

17.4%

62.8

17.1%

-9.8%

4. Xiaomi

39.0

12.0%

40.0

10.9%

-2.5%

5. Apple

36.1

11.1%

32.8

8.9%

10.1%

Others

11.5

3.5%

23.8

6.5%

-51.8%

Total

325.7

100.0%

366.6

100.0%

-11.2%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2020Q4

Note: Data are preliminary and subject to change

*All figures are rounded off

Top 5 Smartphone Company Highlights:

  • Huawei faced supply shortages in its Mate, nova, and Changxiang series due to the continued impact of the trade bans – with its Mate 40 series shipping less than the Mate 30 series by more than 60% compared to 4Q19. Furthermore, the Honor team’s performance at the Singles’ Day shopping festival was unremarkable.
  • Apple recorded its highest shipments since 2016 and was the only top 5 vendor that achieved a full-year growth. The iPhone 12 series was the main driver, while the continued demand for iPhone 11 series also supported the growth. The company’s offline partners confidently drove the iPhone 12 series, with Apple ensuring stable pricing and margins in the channels.
  • OPPO’s growth in 2020Q4 was mainly supported by its A32 and Reno 5 series. The A32 model recorded nearly 4 million shipments, while the Reno 5 series was able to penetrate the offline channel’s US$350-450 segment with its more reasonable pricing and eye-catching design. This helped OPPO to rank No. 1 in the month of December.
  • vivo remained in its second spot in the full-year 2020 ranking, with its iQOO, S, and Y series achieving higher shipments over the same period last year. Although its X series’ shipments declined due to higher pricing, its product upgrade and marketing activities helped to shape a better reputation for its high-end photography features.
  • Xiaomi’s 2020 performance was mainly supported by its well-positioned product lineups and its offline penetration in the lower-tier cities, which resulted in more than 29% YoY growth in the second half of the year. Its growth in 2020Q4 was driven by the Redmi Note 9 and Redmi 9 series, with the former contributing more than 2.5 million shipments in a months.

China shipped a total of 167.5 million 5G handsets in 2020, with 60.1 million in 2020Q4 alone. In 2020, more than half of the smartphones were shipped with a 5G connectivity.

MediaTek was the largest 5G processor supplier in 2020Q4, with its products covering the mainstream and mid-range price bands, meeting the demand in the <US$300 5G segment. Apple’s 5G processor ranked second with the support of the iPhone 12 series, followed by Qualcomm, Huawei Hisilicon, and Samsung, while Unisoc also gained a higher share in 2020Q4.

“China will see a more stable consumer demand in 2021 as the local COVID-19 cases are expected to be less impactful. Thus, a gradual market recovery is expected to be seen, along with the changes in the smartphone and upstream competition,” says Xi Wang, Research Manager for Client System Research at IDC China.

To know more about the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Will Wong at wwong@idc.com. For media queries, please contact Charles Tamayo at cjtamayo@idc.com.

-Ends-

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