Although Apple’s year-over-year revenue declined last year, the company was able to beat one of the major smartphone vendors in China. According to a report from the market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the Cupertino tech company took over Xiaomi in China by shipping 44.9 million iPhone units in 2016. The Chinese manufacturer, on the contrary, shipped 41.5 million smartphones and slipped down to fifth position.
IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker report claimed that Apple’s shipment volume dropped down to 23 percent compared to 58.4 million iPhones shipped in 2015. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s shipment dropped down to 36 percent (higher than Apple) from 64 million Mi smartphones in 2015.
However, the four Chinese vendors which scored the top five spots in 2015 earned a notable growth; from 46 percent in 2015 to 57 percent in the year 2016.
Oppo took up the highest market share in Q4, 2016 – the Chinese tech company shipped 78.4 million units, more than double of what it shipped (35.4 million) in the year 2015. Huawei secured the second spot on the scoreboard, by shipping 76 million smartphones last year. Vivo also followed the same trail as Oppo with double the shipment volume, from 35 million phones in 2015 to 69 million in the fourth quarter 2016.
IDC cited that although Apple’s market share has declined for the first time since 2003, the Chinese vendors were not to be blamed for the Cupertino tech company’s growth decline. As Apple Inc. will launch its ’10-year anniversary’ iPhone this year, the report says that it might likely convert some of the high-end Android users to iOS patrons in China.
Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst, IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team, in a statement said, “Increased dependence on mobile apps has led to consumers to seek phone upgrades, thus helping drive the large growth in fourth quarter of 2016. In lower-tiered cities, there was a similar demand by consumers, which Oppo and Vivo met by aggressively pushing mid-range smartphones in these cities.”
The IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker findings disclosed, “The smartphone market in China saw a 19 percent year-on-year growth and 17 percent quarter-on-quarter growth fourth quarter of 2016. For the full year of 2016, the market grew by nine percent with top Chinese smartphone vendors taking up a larger share of the market.”