27 Jan 2022

China's Smartphone Market Grew 1.1% in 2021 Despite Soft Demand and Supply Chain Disruptions, IDC Reports

SINGAPORE, January 28, 2022 – According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 329.3 million smartphones shipped in China in 2021, with a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 1.1%. In 4Q21, the market declined 3.5% YoY to 83.4 million shipments, which were mainly supported by the launch of key products in December.

In 2021, the Chinese smartphone market experienced an L-shaped growth, with 1Q21 growing amid better COVID containment and stimulus programs, followed by declines in the following quarters given the challenges of supply shortages and lower-than-expected demand for mid-range and high-end products.

China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, Q4 2021 (shipments in millions)

Company

2021Q4 Shipments

2021Q4 Market Share

2020Q4 Shipments

2020Q4 Market Share

YOY Growth

1. Apple

17.2

20.6%

16.7

19.3%

3.0%

2. Honor

14.2

17.0%

4.0

4.6%

253.4%

3. vivo

14.0

16.8%

15.4

17.8%

-9.1%

4. OPPO

13.9

16.6%

16.7

19.3%

-16.6%

5. Xiaomi

13.2

15.8%

11.8

13.7%

11.1%

Others

11.0

13.2%

21.8

25.2%

-49.5%

Total

83.4

100.0%

86.5

100.0%

-3.5%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2021Q4

Note:

* Data are preliminary and subject to change

* All figures are rounded off





China Smartphone Market, Top 5 Company Shipments, Market Share, and YoY Growth, 2021 (shipments in millions)

Vendor

2021 Shipment

2021 Market Share

2020 Shipment

2020 Market Share

YOY Growth

1. vivo

71.0

21.5%

57.5

17.7%

23.3%

2. OPPO

67.1

20.4%

56.7

17.4%

18.3%

3. Xiaomi

51.1

15.5%

39.0

12.0%

31.0%

4. Apple

50.3

15.3%

36.1

11.1%

39.5%

5. Honor

38.6

11.7%

36.8

11.3%

4.9%

Others

51.3

15.6%

99.6

30.6%

-48.5%

Total

329.3

100.0%

325.7

100.0%

1.1%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2021Q4

Note:

* Data are preliminary and subject to change

* All figures are rounded off

“Apple and vivo took the top spot in 4Q21 and 2021, respectively. Honor continued its momentum in 4Q21 and gained another spot from the previous quarter,” said Will Wong, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. Will adds, “More intense competition is coming in 2022 as no vendors are likely to give up their crown in a lucrative market.”

Top 5 Smartphone Company Highlights:

Apple saw a favorable response to its iPhone 13 series, as the product was not only supported by a competitive pricing strategy and the decline of Huawei, but also by good supply chain management and better channel penetration. In 2021, Apple reached more than 50 million shipments after reaching the mark in 2015 and it also had the largest growth among the top 5 vendors.

Honor continued its growth in 4Q21 with the launch of the Honor 60 series and X30 series in December. The vendor’s focus on its mid-range and high-end products supported its 2H21 performance, while its volume-driver product, the Honor 50 series, helped to strengthen its position in the US$400-550 segment.

vivo ranked No. 1 in full-year 2021 with its well-rounded product portfolio. vivo’s X series and its sub-brand, iQOO, achieved favorable growth in the year. This, in turn, helped the vendor to achieve a better market position in the >US$400 market and online channels.

OPPO grabbed the second spot in 2021, with the K, Reno, and Find series achieving a higher share of its portfolio compared to last year. In 4Q21, the launch of the Reno 7 series also strengthened OPPO’s position in the US$300-500 price band in the offline channel.

Xiaomi’s new products, the Note 11 series and Mi 12 series, drove the vendor’s performance in 4Q21, especially in the last month of the year. Furthermore, Xiaomi’s Redmi 9 series and K40 series played a key role in supporting its full-year shipments and helped the vendor to rank No. 3 in 2021.

In 2021, the Chinese market shipped 1.5 million foldable smartphones, but it remained a niche market with only 0.5% share. Nevertheless, several drivers continued to make it the focus of the market:

1. The new form factor allowed Chinese vendors to build a high-end image and differentiated themselves from Apple’s products.

2. Better-than-expected demand for competitively priced foldables helped to sustain the awareness of potential buyers.

3. Improvements in the software and hardware provided a more favorable experience and value of the use cases.

“Although the Chinese market grew slightly in 2021, there are still no signs of improvement in terms of consumer demand in the short term,” said Xi Wang, Research Manager for Client System Research at IDC China. Xi adds, “Thus, challenges will remain in 2022, underscoring the importance of enhancing product technology and offline channel operations.”

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

-Ends-

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