In an announcement made today, International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed how China’s smartphone market has grown exponentially since it first started budding in 2011.
According to IDC’s data, back in 2011, the only smartphone brands that were available in China were Huawei and Apple, with Apple initially taking a slight lead over Huawei. But as smartphones became more popular and more common, more manufacturers soon entered the market including homegrown players such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo, among others.
The growth rate of all the new manufactures were incredibly fast with year-over-year growth rates of up to 36.2%, specifically Xiaomi who surpassed both Apple and Huawei with a market share of 15% at the end of 2015 while Huawei and Apple took second and third with market shares of 14.5% and 13.4%, respectively. The style of Chinese manufacturers of producing high value smartphones at lower costs than their foreign competitors was one of the reasons for their exponential growth in recent years. An example of this is, back in 2013, the top smartphone manufacturer in China was Samsung but just two years later it was overtaken by Xiaomi, Huawei, and other Chinese manufacturers.
In 2015, Xiaomi saw a year-over-year growth in shipments and market share of 23.2% while Huawei and Apple saw humongous year-over-year growth at 53% and 56%, respectively. Huawei was able to take the lead in year-over-year ASP (average selling price) with a 20.9% growth while Xiaomi actually saw negative ASP growth in 2015 at -7.6% as the company seemed to begin selling their new smartphones at lower prices in 2015.
According to IDC, 2016 may possible be a flat or stagnant year for smartphones in China as the market becomes more mature. The company claims that 2016 will see new trends in both smartphone manufacturing and selling in the Chinese market including a shift of focus to offline selling channels as opposed to online channels which have been successful in recent years. IDC also claims that vendors will begin battling in higher price tiers than ever before as well as a consolidation of many of the smaller vendors as manufacturers begin expanding their offline channels.
IDC does still expect the top manufacturers like Huawei and Apple to do well in 2016 as more and more people have begun interested in more sophisticated and powerful hardware in spite of the higher cost.