28 Jul 2021

China's Smartphone Market Dropped 10% in 2Q21 Under Soft Demand and Lack of Flagship Availability, IDC Reports

BEIJING, July 29, 2021 – According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 79.0 million smartphones were shipped in China in 2Q21, down 10.0% year-on-year (YoY). The decline was the result of the weaker-than-expected demand and a lack of flagship products that could trigger consumer interest. Nevertheless, the first half of the year still saw a 7.1% YoY growth with 165 million shipments, mainly due to the low comparison base last year when the pandemic struck.

“Honor entered the Top 5 for the first time in China after it was divested from Huawei. Honor managed to shake off some impact of the US sanctions at least in its home market and gave it a good start. However, more competition and challenges are still expected in the overseas markets,” said Will Wong, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

Top 5 Smartphone Company Highlights:

vivo gained the top spot in 2Q21. Both its existing and newly launched Y-series continued to support its position in the mainstream price segment. In the mid-range and higher-end segments, vivo’s iQOO series well-received in the “6.18” online shopping festival, following a favorable performance with the X and S series in 1Q21.

OPPO’s budget-friendly models like the A32, A55, and A93 were the volume drivers in the quarter. The vendor’s market share tumbled in the US$350-450 segment as its Reno 5 series neared the end of its lifecycle, but its successor, the Reno 6 series, which launched in June, is expected to help OPPO regaining its position in the segment in the following quarters.

Xiaomi strengthened its market share in the US$250-350 segment with its K40 series and focus on the “6.18” online festival. Furthermore, Xiaomi’s high-end products like the Mi 11 Pro and 11 Ultra helped to increase its weighted average selling prices (ASPs), which in turn, allowed it to enhance its offline channel partnerships and expansion pace.

Apple managed to achieve a higher market share in its off-season, mainly supported by its active promotions in the online shopping festival and at the expense of Huawei’s decline. Apple’s first 5G products also allowed it to increase its weighted ASPs by more than 20% from a year ago and led to YoY growth of over 50% in terms of total shipment value.

Honor’s Changwan 20 model and Play 5 series were well-received in both offline and online channels, with the former managing to satisfy entry-level consumers’ needs and providing a good margin for channels. The Honor’s 50 series, which launched in June, focused on differentiating its photography functions and was offered at competitive prices.

“Although the top four vendors achieved a significant growth in 2Q21, the void left by Huawei was still unable to be fully filled,” said Xi Wang, Research Manager for Client System Research at IDC China. Xi adds, “Creating a brand name with a strong social status will be highly crucial in a commoditized market.”

To know more about the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Will Wong at wwong@idc.com.

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